CCL Roundup: Portland debuts with victory in Guyana, Sporting KC held by Real Esteli
Portland 4 – Alpha United 1
The lengthy trip to Georgetown did not prevent the Timbers from marking their CCL debut with a victory at Guyana National Stadium. Caleb Porter trusted his reserves to deliver the points and they repaid him in spades with a professional performance. Steve Zakuani latched onto Kalif Alhassan’s throughball and slotted past Ronson Williams for the opener after 18 minutes. Maximiliano Urruti doubled the lead just after the half-hour, but Barbosa Murillo thumped a stunning free kick off the underside of the crossbar to pull a goal back on the stroke of halftime. Fanendo Adi climbed off the bench to complete a fine team move to secure the points after 66 minutes. Alvas Powell grabbed the fourth in the final 10 minutes to ensure the Timbers returned to Portland atop Group 5.
Club América 6 – Puerto Rico BFC 1
Las Aguilas set a new Champions League record by scoring five times in the first half en route to a comfortable victory at Estadio Azteca. Four of those goals came inside the opening 20 minutes as the reserve-laden home side stamped its authority on the game from the outset. Moises Velasco, Michael Arroyo and Ventura Alvarado all struck before Martin Zuniga smashed an overhead kick for the fourth. Gil Giovanni Buron snatched the fifth right before halftime. FC Dallas loanee Nick Walker handed the Puerto Ricans a memorable second-half reply with his powerful header, but Zuniga snatched his second at the death to ensure América kept pace with Comunicaciones in Group 8.
Real Esteli 1 – Sporting Kansas City 1
Sporting spurned a chance to move atop Group 2 by settling for a point at Estadio Independencia. Jorge Claros deflected a rebound into his own net after just six minutes to give Esteli the lead on home soil. Toni Dovale curled a sublime free kick inside the near post to issue the response 10 minutes later. Both teams pursued a winner, but the match failed to produce it. The result moved Esteli atop Group 2 with two points from two matches.
Chorrillo 1 – Cruz Azul 0
Justin Arboleda converted his own rebound after a missed penalty to give the Panamanian side a shock victory at Estadio Maracana. Arboleda stepped up to the spot after a bitterly contested penalty decision and watched as Jesús Corona stopped his initial attempt with a dive to his right. The ball caromed kindly back across the face of goal for Arboleda to send the crowd into rapture. The result left Chorrillo atop Group 6 and pushed the reigning champions to the bottom of the three-team pool.