Action from the August 7, 2013, CONCACAF Champions League match between visiting Club America (yellow) and Sporting San Miguelito in Panama City. (Photo: Mexsport)
PANAMA CITY – Club America defeated Sporting San Miguelito 1-0 in the CONCACAF Champions League’s Group 4 opener on Wednesday at the Estadio Rommel Fernández. A first-half goal by Christian Bermudez was enough to secure three points for the Aguilas against the 2013 Panamanian Clausura champion.
Though both teams were making their debuts in the competition, the Mexico City giant has won a record-tying five CONCACAF club titles and is aiming to make a return to the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time since 2006.
A lively opening saw America create the first true scoring opportunity in the eighth minute, when a Luis Gabriel Rey header was calmly snatched by goalkeeper Alex Rodriguez.
In the 24th minute, Bermudez would net the game’s only tally. Andres Andrade made a perceptive run down the right side and sent a diagonal ball that the 26-year-old finished clinically.
Eight minutes later, Rey nearly doubled America’s advantage, but his touch shot rolled past the right post.
Shortly after the break, Rodriguez came up big, denying Bermudez a second goal.
San Miguelito looked more threatening as Darwin Pinzon and Ricardo Clarke became increasingly influential, but the Mexican champion’s defense coped well with the attacking duo.
With 12 minutes remaining, Julio Andrade entered the match for the host. His insertion nearly produced an equalizer if not for a strong save by goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez.
Group 4 play resumes on August 22 with a match-up between San Miguelito and visiting Alajuelense of Costa Rica.