Cruz Azul had their most difficult opponent at home to open the CONCACAF Champions League but turned in an impressive performance.
Cruz Azul beat Costa Rican power Saprissa 2-0 in Estadio Azul on Tuesday to start off their 2009-2010 Champions League performance off on the right foot.
The hosts did well to initiate with a surge as Sapriss had to withstand an early barrage just to keep the match scoreless. Cruz Azul attackers, though, were untidy in finding the ball at their feet in front of the goal.
Alejandro Vela and Cristian Riveros teamed up for the first goal. Vela did well to whip a cross in from the left flank to the front of the goal. Riveros headed the ball into the corner and easily scored as he found a seam in Saprissa's defense.
Walter Centeno was the most dangerous player for Saprissa early on as he controlled several set pieces and fed others the ball as well. However, Saprissa players were often surrounded by Cruz Azul defenders.
In the 35th minute, Cruz Azul struck again. Ramon Nuñez sent free kick into the box from 40 yards out and Joel Huqui fired a glancing header into the goal. Saprissa goalkeeper Fausto Gonzalez was powerless to stop it.
Manager Enrique Meza put in Gerardo Torrado to start the second half but the match was essentially out of reach by then. Cruz Azul had a golden opportunity to put the match completely away in the 75th minute when Pablo Zeballos had a breakaway but botched his attempt.
Still, Cruz Azul dominated Saprissa and sent a message to the rest of the field that the club is back and prepared for another run to the final.
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