Dario Carreño (pictured) celebrates after one of his three goals in Pachuca's 7-3 CONCACAF Champions League win over Municipal on August 27, 2014, in Guatemala City. (Photo: Juan Meoño)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Dario Carreño scored three goals and Pachuca posted a 7-3 win over host Municipal in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday at the Estadio Mateo Flores.
MoneyGram Player of the Game: Dario Carreño (Pachuca)
The victory gave the Mexican side a five-point lead atop the Group 1 table with each of the three teams, including Honduras’ Real España, having played two matches.
In an action-packed evening, Carlos Ruiz struck brilliantly off a 13th minute corner kick to put the host ahead 1-0. Pachuca, though, responded with ruthless precision, netting four unanswered goals in a 30-minute stretch.
The equalizer came in the 16th minute, when a hustling Aviles Hurtado lunged in the air from the edge of the six-yard box to connect with Steven Almeida’s left-sided cross.
Four minutes later, Municipal defender Cristian Noriega misplayed a ball delivered over the top, allowing Carreño to pounce in the left side of the box and slip a right-footed shot home from eight-yards out to make it 2-1.
With the encounter proceeding at a frenzied pace, the visitor was awarded a penalty after referee Ricardo Salazar ruled Municipal defender Dennis Lopez fouled Carreño in the box. The influential Ariel Nahuelpan converted the subsequent kick from the spot in the 39th minute for his second CCL goal in as many games.
Municipal tried to get to halftime without sustaining any further damage, but Pachuca inflicted a lethal blow courtesy of Carreño one minute into stoppage time. The 26-year-old received a pass from the left, turned and curled a right-footed shot from 25-yards out that found the inside of the right post.
The three-goal deficit, while daunting, did not deter the Rojos coming out of the break.
Diego De Souza pulled one back for the Guatemalans in the 49th minute, bouncing a left-footed effort from 30-yards out past late-reacting goalkeeper Oscar Perez.
It did not take long for the Tuzos to respond. In the 58th minute, Hurtado outraced Jaime Vides down the right wing to track down a ball. The Colombian entered the box and passed to Erick Gutierrez, who only had to slot it in with his left foot from nine-yards out.
Feisty Municipal would not quit, though, and was rewarded for its persistence with a penalty kick of its own. Ruiz converted for his second goal of the game in the 75th minute after he was taken down in the box by Hugo Rodriguez.
At 5-3, Pachuca could have went on the defensive. The 2009/10 CCL champion, though, had other ideas.
Carreño completed his hat-trick in 81st minute, collecting a left-sided pass from the tireless Hurtado and beating goalkeeper Santiago Morandi with his left foot from 10 yards.
Nahuelpan put an exclamation point on the scoreline in the first minute of second-half stoppage with his second goal of the game.
Group 1 returns to action on September 17 with a meeting between Municipal and visiting Real España.
To view the CSD Municipal vs Club de Fútbol Pachuca Highlights, click here.