Achille Emana (white) scored once in Cruz Azul's 2-1 CONCACAF Champions League win over host Herediano on October 22, 2013, at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, Costa Rica. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
HEREDIA, Costa Rica – Cruz Azul earned a fourth trip to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals in as many tries, defeating host Herediano 2-1 on Tuesday to capture the Group 3 crown with a perfect 4-0-0 record.
Achille Emana and Jesus Lara scored a goal each in a winning effort at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. The duo has now combined to net La Maquina’s last six tallies in the competition.
Herediano was obligated to start out on the attack, needing to win by more than two goals to keep its hopes of advancing past the Group Stage alive.
The visitors quickly took advantage of the inevitable open spaces, as Emana struck in the sixth minute. From the right wing, Mariano Pavone made a superb diagonal pass to the sprinting forward, who hit the back of the net from 10-yards out. It was the fourth straight goal in the CCL for the Cameroonian international.
The Costa Rican side searched for an equalizer and almost got it in the 38th minute, but a Victor Nuñez attempt was deflected from danger.
Anllel Porras did knot the score, however, ten minutes after the break. Pablo Salazar headed down a high ball played into the middle of the Cruz Azul area and Porras poked it past goalkeeper Guillermo Allison from four-yards out.
Lara secured the victory with a minute left in regulation, receiving a pass from Emana on the left and slotting past goalkeeper Leonel Moreira just inside the far post.
With the win, Cruz Azul extended its record for most wins in competition history to 29 and increased its all-time goal total to 99, five behind leader Santos.
NOTES: Cruz Azul has never to Herediano in four all-time encounters (3-1-0)…Herediano’s CCL home unbeaten streak ended at five games.