Pachuca tops Saprissa, advances to SCCL semifinals

Pachuca's Victor Guzman (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Saprissa in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League game on February 28, 2017, in Pachuca, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)

PACHUCA, Mexico -- Jonathan Urretaviscaya had a role in three goals as Pachuca tallied twice within a two-minute span in the first half to record a 4-0 victory over visiting Saprissa and advance to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on Tuesday.

Victor Guzman, Urretaviscaya, Franco Jara and Hirving Lozano scored at the Estadio Hidalgo as the Mexican side became the first quarterfinalist to book a spot in the final four.

Pachuca, which secured a scoreless draw last week in San Jose, Costa Rica, will play the winner of the FC Dallas-Arabe Unido series that will be determined on Wednesday night.

The Tuzos went ahead 1-0 in the 29th minute, when an unmarked Guzman easily slotted home from five-yards out off Urretaviscaya's left-sided free kick.

Two minutes later, Urretaviscaya turned goal-scorer as Guzman slipped him a pass through two Saprissa players on the right side.  In a dazzling demonstration of vision, skill and shooting ability, Urretaviscaya moved across the box, beating Christian Martinez, Roy Miller and Julio Cascante, before drilling a 15-yard shot into the lower right corner for a 2-0 advantage.

Facing a two-goal deficit, Saprissa lost Anderson Leite to an apparent head injury after colliding with Pachuca’s Emmanuel Garcia in the 48th minute.

Jara added his second goal of the competition in the 69th minute by heading in Urretaviscaya’s right-wing cross.

An opportunistic Lozano connected for his SCCL-best sixth goal, taking advantage of a backpass that hopped up at Saprissa goalkeeper Dany Carvajal to finish uncontested in the 79th minute.

Saprissa played the final four minutes down a man following Daniel Colindres’ ejection for a second yellow card.

Pachuca improved to 12W-1D-0L at home in SCCL play, while Saprissa suffered its largest loss in six all-time quarterfinal games.