Saprissa defeats Dragon, breaks team SCCL record

Saprissa's Rolando Blackburn (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Dragon in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on August 18, 2016, in Tibas, San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Rolando Blackburn scored a pair of goals to lead Saprissa to a 6-0 win over visiting Dragon on Thursday in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League campaign.

Francisco Calvo, Marvin Angulo, Mariano Torres and Ulises Segura also scored to complete the most lopsided victory in the the Monstruo Morado’s 33-game SCCL history. Its previous largest margin of victory came in last year’s group stage-opener, a 4-0 home against DirecTV W Connection.

Angulo also set up two early goals via his corner kick service, and Segura provided the cross for Blackburn’s second as the host won for a ninth time in their last 11 SCCL matches at home.

Saprissa (1W-0D-0L, 3) now leads the Portland Timbers (1-0-0, 3) atop Group B on goal difference after the MLS side’s home victory against Dragon (0-0-2, 0) on August 3.

Dragon will continue its search for its first-ever victory in the competition next Thursday, when it hosts Saprissa in San Salvador. The 2016 Salvadoran Clausura champion will have to do so without Bladimir Osorio, who was sent off in the 72nd minute for his challenge on Saprissa’s Daniel Colindres. Carlos Monteagudo will also be out after receiving his second caution of the tournament.

Osorio’s ejection came long after the three-time CONCACAF club champion did most of its damage in a torrid opening 25 minutes.

Blackburn got it started four minutes in, nodding home Angulo’s corner from the edge of the 6-yard box, and Calvo added a second goal from an almost identical spot six minutes later.

Angulo made it 3-0 with a precise flick-on header beyond goalkeeper Henry Hernandez in the 18th minute. And it was 4-0 in the 22nd as Mariano Torres sent a first-time, left-footed finish inside the left post from near the penalty spot.

Dragon’s best chance came late in the first half. Kenroy Howell – the scorer against Portland -- forced goalkeeper Danny Carvajal into an acrobatic dive low and left for the most difficult of his three saves.

After Osorio’s exit, Saprissa finished off its comfortable victory when Blackburn nodded home his second goal off Segura’s cross in the 88th minute. Segura added one himself in the final minute of normal time.