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2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League

Cruz Azul Demolish Herediano 6-2 In CCL Qualifier

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Cruz Azul reached the final of the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League but fell short of the FIFA Club World Cup. The club may have come out more fired up because of that.

La Maquina tore apart Costa Rican side Club Sport Herediano in Heredia, Costa Rica on Thursday. Javier Orozco was the hero of the match, scoring three goals for the Mexicans.

Cruz Azul have all but wrapped up the qualifying series but will go through the motions against Herediano at Mexico City a week.

First Half

La Maquina debuted three players on the season as Jesus Corona, Fausto Pinto and Gerardo Torrado all played with Cruz Azul for the first time. Orozco got the early goal started just three minutes in. Orozco carried the ball down the middle of the field and knocked a pass to the left side of the penalty area. Cristian Riveros immediately sent a left-footed cross to the far post and Alejandro Vela was there for an easy tap-in.

The goal gave Cruz Azul a quick 1-0 lead and the hosts did little recover immediately.

Cruz Azul nearly doubled their advantage in the 21st minute when Vela found Rogelio Chavez on the far post but Herediano 'keeper Adrian de Lemos turned away Chavez's header.

Second Half

Herediano helped Cruz Azul open the flood gates in the 48th minute. Eduardo Gomez, who had replaced Bryan Orue in the 40th minute after Orue picked up a yellow card, was sent off. Gomez earned a straight red card for a vicious slide tackle on Vela.

Three minutes later, Cruz Azul scored. Vela dribbled the ball towards the penalty area on a 3-on-2 break. Vela slipped a ball over towards Orozco, who slammed a shot into the back of the net.

Orozco scored his second goal of the match in the 57th minute. A cross came in to the left side of the field and Lozano immediately sent a cross to the center of the area. Orozco ran onto it and ripped a shot into the back of the net.

Down to 10 men and three goals, Herediano somehow responded. Andy Herron ran onto a cross and knocked it past Corona to give the hosts a goal.

The momentum from the score, though, did not last. Emmanuel Villa scored Cruz Azul's fourth goal of the match, in the 70th minute, when he was on the receving end of a Lozano set piece. Lozano knocked a free kick into the box from the left side of the field and Villa slammed the ball into the back of the net.

Orozco completed his hat trick in the 75th minute after a nifty passing combination. Cesar Villaluz found Lozano on the left side of the box and Lozano headed the ball toward the center. Orozco ran onto it and headed his shot past de Lemos for Cruz Azul's fifth goal of the match.

However, two minutes later a defensive miscue cost Cruz Azul a goal. Julio Cesar Dominguez and Corona appeared to not communicate well with each other on a cross inside the area. The ball bounced off both players and fellt to Jose Guity, who easily knocked the ball into an empty net.

But Cruz Azul were not done. Pablo Zeballos raced from the middle of the feild into the penalty area completely unmarked, settled and knocked the ball into the back of the net.

Cruz Azul are all but through to Group C, which features Saprissa of Costa Rica, Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer and the winner of the Puerto Rico-Toronto FC series, which the Islanders lead 1-0 on aggregate.

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