Cristian Techera (pictured) has five goals in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. (Photo: Mexsport)
VANCOUVER, Canada -- Cristian Techera scored two goals and added two assists to lift the Vancouver Whitecaps earn a 4-1 victory over Central FC in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Uruguayan helped set up Blas Perez’s early opener and Masato Kudo’s insurance goal early in the second half at BC Place, and converted a penalty in between that stood up as the winner for the Whitecaps, which finished with a perfect 4W-0D-0L record in Group C.
He added a second goal later after halftime on Marcel de Jong’s service to cap his second brace in three matches and tie Pachuca’s Hirving Lozano as the tournament’s leading scorer on five goals.
Sean de Silva scored just before halftime for Central FC (0-1-2, 1).
Vancouver had already qualified for the quarterfinals after beating host Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, on September 13. Any question, however, that the Whitecaps would lose some intensity for their final group match was dispelled by a bright start.
Panama international Blas Perez broke through first in the 11th minute on a sequence that began when Techera reached Kudo’s ball out wide right. Techera dragged a cross back across the 6-yard box, where Perez popped up for the finish.
Perez created Techera’s first goal nine minutes later, getting behind Central’s defense and inducing Keion Goodridge into the penalty area. Techera stepped up and coolly chipped his penalty into the center of the goal.
De Silva cut it to 2-1 in the 44th minute off a 22-yard free kick that he bent over Vancouver’s defensive wall and into the top left corner.
Kudo pushed Vancouver’s lead back to two goals four minutes after the break. Techera received Marcel de Jong’s a perfect diagonal ball and then delivered a cross from the right side of the box that Kudo slotted home with his right foot from the edge of the six-yard box.
Techera completed his brace in 70th minute, finishing a De Jong feed with his left foot from 12-yards out.
Central FC will complete group play with a visit to Sporting Kansas City (0-1-2, 1) on October 19.