like a legitimate challenge. Pearson was also booked in similar circumstances but Hendrie’s caution, for a foul on Club America striker Jonathan Sanchez, looked more like a correct decision.
Club America offered very little going forward until the latter stages of the first period when a cross caused a problem for Gollini and James Weir conceded a corner with a wild clearance. United defended the resulting setpiece successfully, but almost paid the price for not turning dominance into goals just before half-time.
A harmless through ball was played into the Reds' penalty area and after Pearson and Mexican midfielder Solace came together, the referee inexplicably pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Sanchez to hammer the ball to Gollini’s right but the United custodian made a brilliant save, diving low and pushing the ball to safety.
The Reds made two changes at half-time, bringing on Liam Grimshaw for Ekangamene and Jack Rudge for Hendrie, and shortly afterwards Wilson was introduced as a replacement for Barmby.
United started the second half as they had the first, dominating possession and pushing the Mexicans back, but were perhaps over elaborate with the final pass. However, the breakthrough came in the 61st minute when a quick through ball down the right-hand side found Wilson who had timed his run perfectly. At first it looked as though he had taken one touch too many as he entered the area but before the ball could run away, he was able to push it past the advancing goalkeeper.
The Mexicans seemed to lose their composure a little after going behind and had a man sent off for a second yellow-card offence in the 66th minute. The Reds had a lucky escape though after giving away a free-kick just outside the box. Club America midfielder Esquival thumped a tremendous effort against the bar and United breathed a sigh of relief.