Enrique Miranda celebrates after scoring the only goal in Heredia's 1-0 win over the visiting San Jose Earthquakes in a CONCACAF Champions League game on August 28, 2013, at the Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo: Juan Meono)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – A second-half goal from Enrique Miranda proved to be the difference, as Heredia defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.
It was the first meeting between the teams, both competing in the Champions League for the first time.
Heredia, which became the first Guatemalan team to win its first two games in the competition, now holds sole possession of first place in Group 5 with six points from two matches. San Jose has lost its opening two Group Stage matches – both away from home – by 1-0 scores.
The scoring sequence started when Anderson Andrade went down following a challenge from Ramiro Corrales at the right edge of the 18-yard box. Miranda pounced on the ball and put a low shot inside the far post for what proved to be the game winner in the 68th minute.
The goal came just one minute after Corrales was inches away from putting San Jose in front after Jaime Alas was fouled by Rodolfo Gonzalez 24 meters from goal. Corrales neatly put his free kick over Heredia’s four-man wall, but it glanced off the top netting.
Heredia nearly added an insurance tally in the 82nd minute, but Anderson fired wide of the net from 22 meters.
The Earthquakes had more of the ball in the first half, but it did not result in quality chances.
In the ninth minute, Chris Wondolowski latched onto a long throw by Dan Gargan that took a bounce off the artificial turf. The United States international’s slight flick at the near post was just off the target.
Ten minutes later, Alas -- a Salvadoran midfielder, who recently joined the Earthquakes on loan from Norway’s Rosenborg -- played Corrales behind the Heredia defense. But the veteran midfielder’s cross was unable to connect with Adam Jahn at the edge of the six-yard box and was corralled by Heredia goalkeeper Jose Calderon.
Heredia’s best chance of the first half came against the run of play as Charles Cordova darted toward goal and attempted to cut back on San Jose’s Jason Hernandez. The defender recovered and the Colombian forward, who scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over the Impact de Montreal a week ago, had his shot from 22 meters deflect out for a corner kick.
After playing its first two matches on the road, the Earthquakes will contest their final two games of the Group Stage at home in Buck Shaw Stadium, beginning with a match against MLS rival Montreal on September 17.
Conversely, Heredia will play away for its last two matches. It next faces the Impact at Stade Saputo on September 24.