Pachuca overcame a two-goal deficit in the second half to earn a 2-2 draw with the Impact de Montreal in the first leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) quarterfinal series on Tuesday night.
The Tuzos stormed back behind goals by Heriberto Olvera and second-half substitute Ariel Nahuelpan at the Estadio Hidlago after Dilly Duka tallied twice to put the 2014 Canadian champion ahead.
Montreal – in the middle of its preseason training camp — drew first blood against the run of play. Duka took advantage of some space to make a run on the left, before sending a low shot from 18-yards out into the left corner past goalkeeper Oscar Perez in the 25th minute.
The Impact had two other chances in the opening half as Perez caught Justin Mapp’s 18-yard header on one bounce in the eighth minute, while Duka’s left-sided attempt in the 40th minute went straight at the 42-year-old goalkeeper.
Pachuca’s best opportunity of the half came in the 27th minute, when a Junior Sornoza effort went wide right.
Duka doubled Montreal’s lead in the 53rd minute. After Perez saved Mapp’s shot from the right side of the box, the 25-year-old midfielder was there to slot home the rebound.
Four minutes later, Olvera got Pachuca on the scoreboard, netting off a 23-yard free kick that appeared to take a deflection off an Impact player and sail past diving goalkeeper Evan Bush.
Nahuelpan struck for the equalizer in the 68th minute, pushing the ball with his stomach over the goal line after Hirving Lozano’s left-sided feed towards the six-yard box was misplayed by the Montreal defense. It was the Argentinean’s fifth 2014/15 SCCL goal, giving him a share of the scoring lead with Ariel Rodriguez (Saprissa) and Martin Zuñiga (Club America).
The second leg is set for the Olympic Stadium in Montreal on March 3.