Olimpia's Bayron Mendez (left) celebrates after scoring against visiting Police United in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match on August 16, 2016, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (Photo: Mexsport)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Michael Chirinos notched a second-half brace to lift Olimpia (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) to a 4-0 victory over debutant Police United (0-0-1, 0) in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Group E encounter on Tuesday night.
Bayron Mendez and Javier Estupiñan scored inside the opening half-hour for the Leones, who ran their unbeaten home streak in the SCCL to seven matches.
The victory at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino gives a boost to Olimpia’s hopes of a third SCCL quarterfinal appearance after opening with a 1-0 loss at Pachuca two weeks ago.
Police United will next travel to Pachuca for an August 23 meeting to complete the first half of group play after it rarely threatened Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
Both teams lost players to injury before halftime. Olimpia forward Carlo Costly departed in the 23rd minute with an apparent leg injury. Eight minutes later, Police FC starting goalkeeper Jose Santos had to leave with an upper body ailment.
By then it was already 2-0 for the host, which improved to 13-3-3 in SCCL home games.
Mendez broke through in the second minute, when he seized upon an early mistake, hammering a vicious 15-yard finish beyond Santos after reaching Byron Usher’s poor clearance.
Estupiñan came on for Costly and shortly after was rewarded with Olimpia’s second goal in the 26th minute.
Jose Tobias beat Police United defender Mailson Moura to a pass and then from the right curled a cross back toward the six-yard box, where Estupiñan wiggled free and directed a header beyond the lunging Santos, who suffered his injury on the play.
Police United came closest to scoring its first-ever SCCL goal three minutes after halftime, Carlton Thomas’ 23-yard curler was pushed over the crossbar by Valladares at full stretch.
Instead, the host added to its lead late as left-winger Chirinos bagged his goals in the 77th and 80th minutes.