Herediano (yellow) defeated visiting Valencia 4-2 in a CONCACAF Champions League match on September 18, 2013, in Alajuela, Costa Rica. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica -- Herediano kept its hopes of reaching the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals alive by registering a 4-2 victory over Valencia in a Group 3 encounter on Wednesday at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank.
The Costa Rican club improved to 2-0-1, tying idle Cruz Azul (2-0-0, 6 points), although the Mexican side has a game in hand.
Valencia (0-0-3, 0 points) was eliminated from contention for a knockout-round berth.
The Florenses struck twice within the opening six minutes to grab a 2-0 advantage behind goals from Olman Vargas and captain Minor Diaz. Jose Sanchez and Anllel Porras added second-half tallies. Roody Joseph and Andre Amy found the back of the net for Valencia.
With the game only two minutes old, Vargas headed in the first goal. Francisco Calvo led Yosimar Arias with a pass down the left wing. Arias then crossed the ball into the penalty area for Vargas, who got position on his marker and headed with a bounce past goalkeeper Frandy Montrevil.
Only four minutes later, Diaz headed in a right-wing cross for a two-goal bulge.
Walson Agustin had Valencia’s best scoring chances in the first half, firing from the left only inches past the right post in the 33rd minute.
A minute into first-half stoppage time, Agustin tried again to dent the Herediano lead as he sent a cross into the area that goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero caught, dropped, but quickly recovered.
Valencia, which dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to Cruz Azul in its last CCL outing, continued to plug away and were rewarded with a goal in the 50th minute. Joseph latched onto a through ball, managed to stay onside, beat his marker and slipped a shot past Cambronero.
But only two minutes later, the host took the wind out of the Haitians’ sails as Sanchez struck for a 3-1 advantage. The 26-year-old defender was fed a through ball and he raced in on the right side before shooting from eight yards to the near post.
Porras put the game out of reach in the 77th minute, cracking home a 30-yard effort that bounced once and nestled into the right near post.
With five minutes left in regulation, Valencia scored again as Amy converted a feed from second-half substitute Chaderson Charlemagne. It was the first time Herediano conceded more than one goal in its last five CCL home matches.
Valencia will complete its first CCL participation with a visit to Cruz Azul on September 24, before the Mexican side travels to Herediano for the group finale on October 22.