PANAMA CITY, Panama- Deportivo Arabe Unido started on the right foot in the Round of 16 in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League, defeating Arnett Gardens 3-0 on Tuesday night at the Estadio Rommel Fernández.
Defender Chin Hormechea led the way for the home team with a brace while midfielder Jonathan Murillo added a third goal in stoppage time.
The Panamanians took the lead in the 58th minute when, off of a short corner, Alexis Palacio delivered a cross into the area headed. The cross was headed by Hormechea, beating goalkeeper Damion Hyatt.
Hormachea would once again strike for Arabe Unido in the 81st minute when, after a corner kick, he beat to his two markers and with another header doubled his team’s advantage.
The third goal would come in stoppage time, when second half substitute Jonathan Murillo received a pass from Faber Gil on the right side. Murillo would then beat a defender and score the goal that sealed the victory for the reigning Panamanian champions.
Both teams had chances throughout the match, but their defenses stood tall amidst the challenges. Arabe Unido goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd made two crucial saves against the Jamaicans. Meanwhile Raúl Peñaranda had a ball cleared off the line by Arnett Gardens man Jabeur Johnson.
Arnett Gardens had a clear chance to score the equalizer in the 66th minute. After a header from Dicoy Williams, Luis Pereira made a diving effort to prevent the ball from going into the back of the net.
In the 10th minute, Colombian Mauricio Castaño showed his pace by winning a ball in the Arnett Gardens area. After beating his marker, he entered the box and took a right-footed shot that was parried away by goalkeeper Damion Hyatt.
In the 20th minute Árabe Unido fans were getting ready to celebrate the first goal of the match but defender Ricardo Oldham knocked the ball away from Raúl Peñaranda as he was setting himself up to take the shot just outside the six-yard box.
The Jamaicans took advantage of the lack of control in the Panamanian defense when Lennox Williams entered the area and took a left-footed shot that sailed just wide of the far post.
Arabe Unido would also have a chance when Palacio came close to opening the scoring in the 41st minute when his low-lying shot deflected off the far post.
The second leg of this tie will be played on Thursday, August 9th at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.