Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between Luis Angel Firpo (white) and visiting Victoria on September 19, 2013, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Salvador Melendez)
SAN SALVADOR – Nine minutes from CONCACAF Champions League elimination, Erick Rivera scored a clutch goal to give Luis Angel Firpo (1-1-1, 4 points) a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Victoria (0-0-2, 0 points) in a Group 7 encounter on Thursday at the Estadio Cuscatlán.
The win was Firpo’s first in its last seven CCL outings, eliminating the Honduran side from contention after only playing two of its four group games.
Rivera struck gold in the 82nd minute, taking a pass on the right from Hector Salazar and knocking a shot from 17 yards off the right post and into the net.
The tally erased the visitors’ 1-0 lead and completed a rally that keeps the Salvadoran alive in the competition. Firpo needs first-place Club Tijuana (2-1-0, 7 points) to lose its next game against Victoria on September 26 to maintain any hope of progressing to the quarterfinals.
Victoria took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. The powerful Kevin Hoyos received a pass, took two touches on a diagonal run toward the top of the box and fired a shot from 22 yards that deflected off goalkeeper Juan Gomez’s hands before finding the net.
Later in the half, Firpo’s Jermie Lynch and Marlon Martinez sent attempts over the crossbar.
Two minutes before the break, a Lynch header from 12 yards was saved by goalkeeper John Bodden.
The Pamperos leveled in the 72nd minute through second-half substitute Medardo Guevara, who lunged in the air at a Carlos Martinez cross from left to poke past Bodden from inside the six-yard box.
Victoria nearly came up with equalizer with a minute left in regulation, but Gomez somehow blocked a Hoyos laser from point-blank range.
NOTES: Luis Angel Firpo has never lost at home in the CCL (2-4-0)…Luis Angel Firpo has conceded one goal or less in its last seven CCL games.