Giovani dos Santos stepped up to net the winning penalty on 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 Beasley struck a golazo from a tight angle five minutes from time to take the game to penalties after a close-fought 90 minutes.
Former Barcelona forward Dos Santos 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 Castillo back-heel to break through the Dynamo defense and finish.
Houston coach Wilber Cabrera had 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 Marchesin saved Romell Quioto's first penalty and Roger Martinez had 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 Junqua had failed to convert his penalty for the Dynamo.
America will face the winner of Real Salt Lake versus Tigres in the semifinal of the tournament on Aug. 20, with LA Galaxy taking on Cruz Azul in the other side of the draw.
The Leagues Cup final is on Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.