Comunicaciones starts off on the right foot in Guatemala, while Isidro Metapan and Luis Ángel Firpo were bitten by the draw bug in El Salvador. CONCACAF.com recaps all the action across the region.
Comunicaciones continued the excellent form it displayed at the end of the 2013 Clausura with a victory to begin the Apertura tournament. The Cremas defeated Clausura final rival Heredia, 2-0, thanks to goals from Jairo Arreola (31’) and Carlos Ramírez (90’+1). Both sides are the Guatemalan representatives in this season’s CONCACAF Champions League and will make their respective debuts in the tournament in two weeks: Heredia hosts the Impact de Montreal (August 21) and Comunicaciones welcomes Mexican side Toluca (August 22).
Of the five, first-round contests in El Salvador, four of ended in a draws, including those of representing the country in this season’s CONCACAF Champions League -- Isidro Metapan and Luis Angel Firpo. Metapan clawed back from a three-goal deficit to tie Santa Tecla, 3-3. The visitors jumped ahead thanks to a hat-trick from Cristian Vaquero. The host commenced its comeback through Puerto Rico international Hector Ramos, who struck in the 56th and 72nd minutes. Later, in what was a heart-stopping finish, Jonathan Barrios scored in stoppage time to complete the reversal. Metapan opens its Champions League campaign on Thursday at home against Costa Rica’s Cartagines.
Prior to a Thursday Champions League meeting with Mexico’s Toluca, Luis Angel Firpo drew 1-1 with Aguila on Saturday. Medardo Guevardo Soto gave Firpo a fourth-minute lead, but Águila secured a point with a 30th minute goal from Tony Ruiz.
Real Estelí got its Apertura season off to solid start with a 2-1 win over Juventus Managua. Goals from Manuel Rosas and Wilber Sánchez were sufficient against the visitors, who scored their lone goal in stoppage time. The ‘Tren del Norte’ will now set its sights Wednesday’s Champions League meeting at home against Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting San Miguelito returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at home on Saturday against Chepo. Aramis Haywood scored the lone goal of the match for the 2013 Clausura champion. Sporting San Miguelito has two wins and a loss on the season and will now prepare for its Champions League clash on Wednesday against legendary Mexican side Club América in Panama City.
Arabe Unido dropped 1-0 decision to Plaza Amador for its second straight loss. A goal from Ariel Bonilla in the 73rd minute was enough for the visitors to capture three points. The furia colonese will look to get back on track, when it turns its attention to the Champions League and a Thursday meeting at home with Trinidad & Tobago’s DIRECTV W Connection.