Yustin Arboleda (middle) celebrates with teammates after scoring the only goal in Chorrillo FC's win over Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions League on August 19, 2014, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Omar Sanchez)
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Chorrillo FC pulled off a major CONCACAF Champions League upset on Tuesday, surprising defending champion Cruz Azul, 1-0, in a Group 6 match at the Estadio Maracana.
Yustin Arboleda knocked home a rebound of his saved penalty kick in the 70th minute for the lone goal. Goalkeeper Junior Torre registered the shutout.
The Yellow Fever (1-0-0, 3 points) had never recorded a point in four previous CCL games, while Cruz Azul (0-1-1, one) had never lost in the competition to a team from Panama with a 6-0-0 all-time mark.
To appreciate Chorrillo's accomplishment, it had been outscored 11-0 by its only other Mexican opposition in the CCL, losing a pair of matches to three-time champion Monterrey, 5-0 away and 6-0 at home, during the 2012-13 edition.
Arboleda provided his heroics after referee Hector Rodriguez whistled Cruz Azul for a foul in the box. The 22-year-old’s kick from the spot was blocked by goalkeeper Jesus Corona, who dived to his right. Corona left a rebound that Arboleda had no problem slotting into the middle of the net.
After the host enjoyed a bright start, the Mexican power found its footing. Marco Fabian came close in the 25th minute as Torre knocked away his attempt from point-blank range. A little after the half-hour mark, Cruz Azul defender Fausto Pinto headed the ball over the crossbar.
Just prior to the break, La Maquina captain Gerrado Torrado fired a 25-yard shot that Torre dived to the left to stop and keep the game scoreless.
Cruz Azul had several opportunities in the second half, but could not connect.
Trying to hold onto the lead, Chorrillo pulled back its entire team to defend at the end of regulation and five minutes of stoppage time.
The visitor had one last-ditch attempt to equalize as Fabian headed from inside the penalty area wide left in the 89th minute.
In the next Group 6 match, Chorrillo will travel to Costa Rica for an August 28 meeting with 2013/14 semifinalist Alajuelense.
To view the Chorrillo FC vs Cruz Azul FC Highlights, click here.