MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In their first international match in club history, the Memphis 901 FC fell 6-1 to Liga MX giants, C.F. Pachuca.
The night will go down as one of the more significant nights in Memphis soccer from a cultural standpoint.
“As a supporter of Mexican fútbol, I wanted to come see Pachuca play,” 19-year-old Eduardo Moreno, with a Mexican flag across his back, said. “I hope this is a sign for more to come. I want to see many Mexican teams at this field.”
The match was sold out for the first time in 901 FC history, and the park was packed from end-to-end with 8,351 fans in attendance.
Sold out crowd for 901 FC vs C.F. Pachuca.
8,351 fans in attendance, the most in club history. pic.twitter.com/90zH7ddICa
— Caleb Hilliard (@Cbreezy118) June 23, 2019
Pachuca showed early why they are one of the strongest clubs in North American soccer. They broke out on a counter attack 10 minutes in and opened the scoring.
Midfielder Raul Lopez created room on the right flank and directed a cross into the middle of the box. Columbian forward Jonatan Copete headed the cross on target, and Memphis goalkeeper Scott Levene made contact, but Copete’s header proved too strong.
The elevated pace of the match continued after the initial goal, and Memphis answered 10 minutes later.
Forward Lagos Kunga cut inside on the right and battled two Pachuca defenders to retain possession. He managed to squeeze into the box and laid off a pass to Elliot Collier. The big man’s first-time shot trickled into the far corner.
The Bluff City Mafia and most of the stadium erupted with excitement after the goal, but the night was far from over.
The 901 FC spent the remainder of the half in their own end, as the back line held strong to keep the match level after 45 minutes.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Pachuca reasserted their dominance.
— Megan Rice (@MRice_Sports) June 23, 2019
Raul Lopez made his way down the far side and, much like the first goal, crossed a dangerous ball. Luis Chávez rose above the Memphis defense to head the cross into the bottom corner.
Pachuca took over the match after regaining the lead.
Leonardo Ulloa, who won the British Premier League in 2016 with Leicester City, came into the match and netted a brace in under three minutes.
After 65 minutes, Pachuca held a 4-1 lead over the 901 FC. They scored two more from long-range before the final whistle, as the match ended 6-1, Pachuca.
Memphis may have lost by five goals, but for the fans of Mexico soccer culture, this match was special.
— By WREG’s Caleb Hilliard