Guerrero hat-trick gives Alianza first SCCL win

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match between visiting Alianza (light blue jersey) and Antigua GFC in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo: Mexsport)

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- Oscar Guerrero recorded a hat-trick to lift visting Alianza FC to a 3-1 victory over Antigua GFC in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores.

The 31-year-old Colombian forward took his competition goal total to four and helped Alianza secure a second-place finish in Group F with its first-ever SCCL victory.

Both teams already had been eliminated from quarterfinal contention as the New York Red Bulls previously captured group honors.

Herbert Sosa added two assists for Alianza (1W-2D-1L, 5 points), which has conceded exactly one goal in each of its six all-time SCCL outings.

Manfred Russell scored on a late penalty for Antigua (0-1-3, 1).

After threatening the host for most of the first half, the Albos finally broke through three minutes before the break.

Sosa bent in a cross from the right flank toward the six-yard box. Antigua goalkeeper Oscar Arroyo lunged for the service and missed it as Guerrero connected for a close-range header into an open net. 

Guerrero made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute after another defensive miscue by the host. This time, a giveaway resulted in Sosa delivering a pass from the top, right of the box to the middle for Guerrero, who found space to drive a left-footed,  14-yard finish between Arroyo and the right post.

As it turned out, Guerrero saved his best goal for last in the 61st minute. After timing his run perfectly to stay even with the last defender, he ran onto the path of Andres Flores Jaco’s through-ball into the penalty area and then blasted a left-footed strike into the top right corner off the inside of the goal frame. 

Russell made it 3-1 four minutes from full time.  Substitute Mauro Portillo’s run into the left side of the penalty area drew the spot kick, causing a scary collision between himself, goalkeeper Victor Bolivar and Alianza defender Mario Jacobo.