Yendrick Ruiz (#7) goes to celebrate after scoring one of his two goals in Herediano's CONCACAF Champions League win over visiting Isidro Metapan on August 21, 2014, in Heredia, Costa Rica. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
HEREDIA, Costa Rica -- Despite having only nine days to prepare for its 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League debut, Herediano showed it meant business, recording a 4-0 Group 7 win over Isidro Metapan on Thursday.
Yendrick Ruiz led the way with two goals, while Elias Aguilar and Victor Nuñez added one each as the Florenses (1-0-0, 3 points) built a 3-0 halftime lead at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero.
Herediano was an 11th-hour replacement for Belize’s Belmopan Bandits, which could not participate after their pitch was ruled unsuitable by the Confederation.
The Costa Rican side improved to 4-0-1 in CCL openers. Metapan dropped to 1-1-13 all-time on the road in the competition.
After an unexceptional opening half hour, the game jumped to life when Ruiz gave the host a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute.
Unmarked on the left side of the penalty area, Alexander Larin drilled a shot that bounded off the crossbar and straight down on the goal line. With goalkeeper Fidel Mondragon on the ground, Metapan's Milton Molina and Ruiz converged on the ball. Ruiz managed to get to it first and stabbed it home with his right foot.
The 23-time Costa Rican champion doubled its lead in the 41st minute, taking advantage of a poor clearance by a Metapan defender. The ball came out to Elias Aquilar, who smashed an 18-yard shot through three players to make it 2-0.
Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, Ruiz struck again, converting from seven-yards out off Jose Sanchez’s right-wing cross for his third career CCL goal.
Nuñez lofted a soft line drive Mondragon in the 83rd minute to punctuate the scoreline.
Herediano will play at Mexico’s Leon (1-0-0, 3 points) on August 27, before hosting Isidro Metapan (0-0-2, 0 points) on September 18.
To view the CS Herediano vs AD Isidro Metapan Highlights, click here.