Enrique Miranda (pictured) scored Heredia's first goal in its 2-0 win over Comunicaciones in the first leg of the Guatemalan Apertura final on December 12, 2013. (Photo: Juan Meono)
MORALES, Guatemala – Heredia gained the advantage in the Guatemalan Apertura final with a 2-0 win over visiting Comunicaciones in the first leg on Thursday at the Estadio Del Monte.
Late goals from Enrique Miranda and Anderson Andrade handed the host an important result ahead of Saturday’s return leg at the Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City.
An entertaining first half was marked by outstanding performances from both goalkeepers, as Comunicaciones’ Juan Jose Paredes and Joseph Calderon of Heredia made several critical saves.
In the second half, a majority of the play took place in the midfield with each side making repeated attempts to create openings.
Miranda gave Heredia a 1-0 lead in the 84th minute, when he unexpectedly deflected Hector de Matta’s free kick past Paredes.
The Cremas pushed forward in search of the equalizer, but Heredia took advantage of the extra space and sealed the victory three minutes into stoppage time. Miranda found Anderson Andrade with a pass and the Brazilian slotted a shot beyond Paredes’ reach.
Heredia needs only a draw in the second leg to secure its first-ever domestic title. Comunicaciones is aiming for its third straight championship after winning four of the last six.