Reyna hat-trick ends scoreless streak
Two-time defending champion Monterrey ended its scoreless streak with a three goals from Angel Reyna and single strikes from Jose Maria Basanta and Dario Carreno, opening the CONCACAF Champions League with a 5-0 victory over tournament debutante Chorrillo on Tuesday.
The victory was Monterrey’s first since beating America on May 12 in the Mexican league semifinals, while Chorrillo remained winless in three games since opening the Panamanian Apertura season.
Reyna scored just before halftime and two more in the closing minutes as Monterrey – shut out in its two league matches this season — dominated for much of the match, and added three in the final 12 minutes.
It controlled from the opening kickoff and took the lead in the seventh minute. Basanta found himself completely unmarked a step inside the penalty spot and drove Suazo’s corner past Chorrillo keeper Diego Mosquero.
It was the first goal in 18 Champions League games for the 28-year-old Argentine defender.
Reyna doubled the lead in the 45th minute, dribbling to just left of the arc without being challenged before unleashing a right-footed shot that skipped inside the left post.
Chorrillo had few chances in the first 45 minutes, restricted to Renan Addles right-footed effort from the edge of the area that Monterrey keeper Jonathan Orozco had to dive right to block at the post in the 39th.
The Panamanian side started the second half better, but wasted its opportunities with weak shots or those that were well wide of the target.
Monterrey, which made only three changes from its loss on Friday to Morelia, then reasserted itself and added to its lead in the 78th when Eduardo Zavala played a short ball to Reyna, who touched to the penalty spot before sending a soft shot to Mosquera’s left.
Second-half substitute Carreno added another in the 83rd, taking a ball from Zavala spinning 360 degrees and beating Mosquera from the middle of the area.
Zavala then set up Reyna for his finale, sprinting down the left once more and serving it to the penalty spot where the 27-year-old midfielder merely volleyed it with the inside of his left foot.
The victory was the 11th in 13 Champions League matches at home for Monterrey, which suffered its only loss last year to the Seattle Sounders.
Chorrillo has yet to score in three games since April, and next will host Municipal on August 23.
Monterrey will travel to Municipal in its next Champions League match on August 29.
Elias Aguilar scored in the 14th minute and Herediano held off a 10-man Real Salt Lake 1-0 on Tuesday in the opening CONCACAF Champions League game for both.
The 21-year-old midfielder capitalized on a defensive miscue by Kyle Beckerman, who slipped and fell, and Herediano won for the third time in its last four Champions League matches.
Real Salt Lake, playing its first game in the tournament since falling to Monterrey in the 2011 finals, had the greater possession in the second half until the 58th minute when central defender Nat Borchers was ejected for a two-footed tackle on Aguilar.
It was a second straight win for Herediano, which opened the Costa Rican league season with a loss and a victory.
Herediano pressed from the opening, generated two corners in the first five minutes and forced RSL keeper Nick Rimando into a reaction save when Pablo Salazar attempted an overhead scissors kick four and a half minutes after the opening kickoff.
Salt Lake appeared to weather the early surge, but a back heel flick from Yendrick Ruiz sent Beckerman sliding, and Aguilar used the space at the top of the penalty area to drive a left-footed ball skipping past Rimando inside the right post.
Both sides had subsequent chances, with Fabian Espindola sending a flicked left-footer just wide of the left post in the 30th and Jose Sanchez forcing Rimando to tip a shot wide in the 41st.
Real Salt Lake, which had won three of its last four games in Major League Soccer, will next play in the Champions League at home against Tauro of Panama on August 21.
Herediano will be off until August 30, when it will travel to face Tauro.