Giovani dos Santosis debuting with a banger…
The 30-year-old Mexican professional footballer kicked the winning penalty in his Club America debut as the Liga MX giants overcame Houston Dynamo 6-5 on penalties in the quarterfinal of the Leagues Cup on Wednesday after the game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Nico Benedetti had given America the lead in the 73rd minute inside BBVA Stadium, but veteran DaMarcus Beasleystruck a golazo from a tight angle five minutes from time to take the game to penalties after a close-fought 90 minutes.
Dos Santos, a former Barcelonaforward, entered the field in the 57th minute with the score at 0-0 in his first appearance for a Mexican club and was involved in the build-up as Colombian Benedetti latched onto a Nico Castilloback-heel to break through the Dynamo defense and finish.
Houston coach Wilber Cabrerahad made changes to his usual starting XI for the team’s first Leagues Cup game, but the Texan team battled hard in the first half and was the more dangerous side, with America not appearing secure at the back.
But Las Aguilas improved after the break, took the lead through Benedetti and looked to be on course for victory, until 37-year-old Beasley’s late equalizer for the Dynamo.
America goalkeeper Agustin Marchesinsaved Romell Quioto‘s first penalty and Roger Martinezhad the opportunity to win it in round five of the shootout, but his spot kick went over the bar. Dos Santos’ winner came after Samuel Junquahad failed to convert his penalty for the Dynamo.
America will face the winner of Real Salt Lakeversus Tigresin the semifinal of the tournament on August 20, with LA Galaxytaking on Cruz Azulin the other side of the draw.
The Leagues Cup final is on September 18 in Las Vegas.