Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between host Caledonia AIA and Comunicaciones (white) on August 29, 2013, at Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: Anthony Harris)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – Paolo Suarez scored three goals and Comunicaciones defeated host Caledonia AIA, 3-0, in a CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) game on Thursday at Hasely Crawford Stadium. The victory gave the Guatemalans their first three points of the competition and sliced in half Toluca’s lead at the summit of the Group 6 table.
Caledonia has never won a game in the competition after six tries.
A brilliant individual effort by CCL veteran Paolo Suarez gave Comunicaciones a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute. The Uruguayan, brother of Liverpool star Luis Suarez, started a run down the left wing nearly 35 yards from the goal. Dribbling past defenders with a mixture of skill and change of speed, he glided into the box and fired a right-footed shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel.
It was Suarez’s first CCL goal for the Cremas after scoring five during an accomplished career with El Salvador ‘s Isidro Metapan.
Noel Williams had Caledonia’s first chance in the 27th minute, latching onto a ball headed near Comunicaciones’ left post. Goalkeeper Juan Paredes, though, reacted with sharp technique to block the left-footed shot from inside the six-yard box for a corner kick.
Three minutes later, the host could have equalized, but Jamal Gay’s close-range header from the left flashed just inches beyond the far post.
Comunicaciones had an opportunity to punish the home side for those misses in the 36th minute, when Carlos Figueroa found in the box an unmarked Carlos Ramirez with a precise cross from the right side. The 26-year-old Uruguayan could not locate the net with a header of his own.
The visitors had another chance to double their lead only three minutes into the second half. Once again, it was Suarez in the middle of the action as he dribbled into the Caledonia box before being taken down by a combination of Kareem Joseph and Muhammad Nuru Abdullah.
Jean Marquez took the ensuing penalty, striking it down the middle and straight into Samuel. The rebound came back to the midfielder and he blasted an effort off the post.
Suarez, though, would make his immense presence felt again in the 61st minute. After receiving the ball in the middle, he turned and unleashed a shot from 28 yards that found the back of the net.
The Uruguayan completed his hat-trick in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Samuel appeared to have injured himself in the run up to a goal kick. The ball fell short to the quick-reacting Suarez, who only had to roll it unchallenged into the back of the empty net from 18 yards, while the goalkeeper remained down on the ground.
Next up for Comunicaciones, which snapped a four-game CCL away losing streak, is a rematch against Caledonia on September 25. Before then, the Trinidadians will try to avoid elimination, when they travel to Toluca for a September 18 tilt.