Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game on August 8, 2013, between Arabe Unido (blue) and DIRECTV W Connection in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Isaac Castillero)
PANAMA CITY – Humberto Ward scored two goals and Arabe Unido defeated visiting DIRECTV W Connection 3-1 in a Group 1 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) game Thursday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
It was the Panamanian side’s first win in the competition since August 24, 2010, following four consecutive losses.
The host went ahead in the 21st minute when miscommunication at the top of the 18-yard box between W Connection defender Joao Jordao and goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa allowed Ward to swoop in and score into an empty net.
Arabe doubled its lead 12 minutes later as Ward, 26, dribbled towards the top of the box, eluded Mekeil Williams and fired a shot past Figueroa, who was ten yards off his line.
Eight minutes into the second half, an unmarked Jose Gonzalez connected a right-sided cross from Abdiel Arroyo to complete the host’s goal account.
Neil Benjamin gave W Connection some hope in the 76th minute, latching on to a telling through ball near the top of the box and shooting past on-rushing goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd to make it 3-1.
After scoring one goal or less in eight of its previous nine Champions League outings, the three-goal outburst was a welcomed sight for Arabe, which advanced to the competition’s 2009-10 quarterfinals.
W Connection has now conceded three or more in its last three CCL matches and will host the Houston Dynamo in the next Group 1 encounter on Aug. 20 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.