MEXICO CITY – Cruz Azul defeated visiting Herediano 3-0 in a CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) encounter on Thursday at the Estadio Azul. It was the five-time confederation club champion’s 26th win in CCL play, breaking a record it shared with Monterrey and Santos.
Goals from Jair Pereira, Mariano Pavone and Gerardo Torrado helped to earn three points for the host, which extended its home unbeaten streak in the competition to 14 consecutive games.
The sides now share first place in Group 3 on three points each, though the Costa Ricans have played one additional game.
It was the visiting team that had the first chance and it came in the second minute of play. A Victor Nuñéz rocket from outside the area was blocked by Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona and landed at the feet of José Sánchez, whose subsequent shot struck the post.
In the 32nd minute, Cruz Azul was able to break the deadlock through Jair Pereira. Mariano Pavone delivered a centering pass from the right side that was not cleared by the Herediano defense. Pereira, 27, was there to take advantage and knocked it into the back of the net.
The home side doubled the lead ten minutes later courtesy of a Pavone goal. A long ball into the Florenses’ area landed to the 31-year-old Argentine and his shot beat goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero.
Gerardo Torrado then made it 3-0 in the 45th minute with a header off a corner kick from Rogelio Chávez. It was the Mexican international’s third career CCL tally. The veteran also netted La Maquina’s first-ever goal in the competition during a 6-0 win over Hankook Verdes of Belize.
Cruz Azul, which now has two wins and a draw in three all-time CCL games against Herediano, will next travel to Haiti for an August 28 game against Valencia.