Luis Angel Firpo delivered the first surprise of the CONCACAF Champions League when they held Tijuana to a scoreless draw on Tuesday, but that proved to be the only shocker of the first matchday. The favorites came away victorious in the other seven matches, capped by three expected winners on Thursday.
Valencia 1-6 Herediano
It took a while for Herediano to find their footing in Haiti, but once they did Valencia stood no chance. Ismael Gomez put the visitors in front after 38 minutes of dominant play and Yendrick Ruiz doubled that lead just before the break to send Herediano into the break with a deserved 2-0 lead.
Victor Nunez Rodriguez turned it into a rout in the 54th minute and while Valencia did pull one back, by the it was the 67th minute and far too late. Herediano poured it on late with three goals, but the match was long over and they had three points securely in their pocket.
Arabe Unido 3-1 W Connection
If Arabe Unido is going to challenge the Houston Dynamo for first place in Group 1, they are going to need to take care of business at home and that is exactly what they did on Thursday. Humberto Ward gave Arabe a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes and he was at it again 12 minutes later, scoring his second. When Jose Gonzalez added a goal of his own on the other side of the break, the match was in the bag and while W Connection did get a goal late, it was far too little, far too late.
Isidro Metapan 2-4 Cartagines
Isidro Metapan's chances of advancing to the next round took a hit with a demoralizing home loss on the opening matchday. With the LA Galaxy also Group 8, making it one of the tougher groups in the competition, home losses are debilitating and Cartagines was good enough to hand Metapan one on Thursday.
A tight first half opened up just before the break when Pablo Herrera Barrantes put the visitors in front after 40 minutes. That kicked off a late second half flurry as Esteban Sirias put the ball in his own net in the 44th minute to bring Metapan even before Andres Flores restored Cartagines' lead in stoppage time.
The crazy end to the first 45 minutes spilled over to the second half as both teams created chances. Nicolas Munoz equalized for Metapan in the 55th minute and looked to give the home side the momentum, but it was Cartagines who would finish strong thanks to Barrantes. The midfielder notched his second goal in the 68th minute to give the visitors' the lead back then completed his hat trick 11 minutes from time to put the match to bed.