Emelec overcame a stubborn Tigres UANL side in their Copa Libertadores quarter-final first leg on Tuesday, with Miller Bolanos scoring in a 1-0 triumph for the Ecuadorian side.
Bolanos struck the winner in the 63rd minute after some fine lead-up work from Marcos Mondaini but Emelec could have built an even greater lead ahead of next week’s trip to Mexico but for Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman.
The Argentine gloveman made four saves for Tigres at Emelec’s Estadio Jocay but one of his stops inadvertently led to Bolanos’ goal.
Just after the hour mark, Mondaini nutmegged his opponent to get into the box but Guzman parried his shot only for the ball to loop to Bolanos at the back post and the unmarked striker nodded it into the net.
Emelec goalkeeper Esteban Dreer was forced into an acrobatic save of his own soon after but the home side held on for victory.
The result maintained Emelec’s unbeaten run at home in South America’s premier club competition this season.
But Emelec coach Omar de Felippe will face an anxious wait ahead of the second leg after winger Angel Mena limped off with an apparent hamstring injury in the 90th minute.