MONTERREY, Mexico - Tigres UANL celebrated its first match in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 4-0 victory over Nicaraguan champion Real Estelí.
Edno Cunha assured that Alan Pulido's header went over the goal line to open the scoring for the Mexican side at Estadio Universitario in the 35th minute. Fernando Navarro doubled the advantage eight minutes later with a low drive inside the far post to stake Tigres to a comfortable halftime lead.
Second-half substitute Taufic Guarch added a third with 10 minutes remaining by turning home Edno's low cross, while José Rivas completed the one-sided affair by knocking in a loose ball from an Elías Hernández corner kick in second-half stoppage time.
Tigres asserted its superiority in possession from the opening whistle, but the 2011 Apertura champion struggled to create quality chances early against the Nicaraguans' defensive shape.
The breakthrough finally arrived when Alberto Acosta pushed forward into space on the left wing, cut back onto his right foot and curled a cross toward the back post. Pulido rose to bounce a header back across goal, where Edno ran in to smash it into the roof of the net as the ball crossed the goal line.
Acosta also played a vital role in the second goal shortly before halftime. He saw his long-range effort blocked by Estelí defender Felix Rodriguez. The deflection fell kindly at the edge of the penalty area to Navarro, who fired a low effort inside the far post.
The tempo dropped in the second half as Tigres felt comfortable with its lead and Estelí struggled to push out of its own end. Estelí goalkeeper Justo Lorente kept his side close with a pair of saves inside the final quarter of an hour, but was outmatched twice in the waning stages of the match.
Guarch extended the lead in the 80th minute as he meandered into space behind the Estelí line and tucked home Edno's square ball from the left wing. Rivas completed the scoring by bundling home Hernández's corner kick at the far post.
Tigres will continue its Champions League campaign with a visit to LD Alajuelense on August 22, while Estelí must wait six days more to return to action with a home match against the Costa Rican side.