There were very few reasons to believe Vancouver Whitecaps might get through to the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League final after losing the first leg of their semifinal against Tigres UANL, 2-0. And Brek Shea wasn't a reason many would have suggested as cause for optimism about the Caps chances of overhauling a two-goal deficit in the second leg. But Shea brought hope to Vancouver fans by scoring the opening goal of the game in the third minute.
GOAL Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Brek SHEA No. 20 | @whitecapsfc @TigresOficial #SCCL #SoyAficionado pic.twitter.com/fCUHGUI4Up— CONCACAF (@CONCACAF) April 6, 2017
And his celebration was memorable too.
La célébration de Brek Shea #FIFA #CCL pic.twitter.com/KyJAUzThpM— Mathieu Lefevre (@matlefevre) April 6, 2017
Two minutes later, Shea was injured and out of the match.
5' Brek Shea takes a knock and is off the park after scoring the first goal #SCCL pic.twitter.com/aqN7elCdCw— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) April 6, 2017
But he'd made the game more interesting than had been expected. Vancouver chased a second goal for the rest of the first half and close to the first 20 minutes of the second - but Tigres would not be denied. In the 63rd minute, star striker Andre-Pierre Gignac picked a good time for his first goal of this edition of CCL.
GOAL Tigres, André-Pierre GIGNAC No. 10 | @whitecapsfc @TigresOficial #SCCL #SoyAficionado pic.twitter.com/HhzRFpJ1vY— CONCACAF (@CONCACAF) April 6, 2017
The goal effectively killed Vancouver's chances of springing an upset: down 3-1 on aggregate, but also having allowed Tigres an away goal, the Caps would need to score three times in the last 30 minutes to win the semifinal. When Damian Alvarez scored Tigres' second in the 84th minute, it was already clear the final was out of Vancouver's reach.
GOAL Tigres, Damian ALVAREZ No. 11 | @whitecapsfc @TigresOficial #SCCL #SoyAficionado pic.twitter.com/VaSzTQ2Y8Z— CONCACAF (@CONCACAF) April 6, 2017
Last year's losing CCL finalist, UANL, will play Pachuca in this year's final. The first leg is on April 19.