Soccer  > General Soccer  > Cruz Azul easily returns to Group Stage again
August 4, 2010, 11:17 AM
MEXICO CITY - Two-time runner-up Cruz Azul returned to the Group Phase of the CONCACAF Champions League for a third consecutive season, dominating San Francisco 6-0 on Tuesday to complete a 9-2 aggegrate romp in the Preliminary Round.

Javier Orozco scored three times, twice in the first half, to increase his all-time leading Champions League total to 16 goals, 11 in the Preliminary Round. Ulises Mendivil has the second-most goals overall with nine.

Maximiliano Biancucchi scored twice in the victory, Cruz Azul's fourth in 11 days which sent it to Group A with Real Salt Lake, Arabe Unido and Toronto FC.

It is the second straight year San Francisco has been eliminated in the Preliminary Round, following year's exit at the hands of San Juan Jabloteh. San Francisco has won only two of 12 matches in three appearances in the Champions League.

Besides scoring twice, Orozco also had a hand in Cruz Azul's other first-half goal that put La Maquina (the Machine) ahead 3-0.

Despite playing under a light rain, Cruz Azul took only 10 minutes to go ahead.

San Francisco defender Carlis Rivera played a ball back to teammate Rolando Algandona on the byline. Algandona was being challenged by Alejandro Vela, who managed to deflect Algandona's attempted clearance. The ball sputtered to Orozco, who turned and dribbled toward goal before releasing a left-footed shot from the middle of the area that goalkeeper William Negrete barely moved toward.

Biancucchi doubled the lead nine minutes later. Cesar Villaluz headed the ball into the area, where Orozco flicked it further. Biancucchi took one touch and then looped a shot over Negrete into the far-side netting.

San Francisco was largely limited to shots from distance, but Johann de Avila managed to break into the area, running onto a dummied ball at the 18 only to put a right-footed shot wide of the left post in the 41st minute.

Orozco ended any hopes of the Panamanian side in the second-minute of first-half injury time, heading in at the back post after Villaluz headed on Vela's corner kick.

Gienir Garcia added to the rout in the 71st, volleying a rolling ball across the penalty area with the outside of his left foot that bended around Negrete and into the far side-netting from the middle of the area.

Orozco finished his scoring in the 84th, controlling a ball that bounced off San Francisco defender Edgar Panezo just outside the six, touching the ball to his right before striking a ball from close-range past a hapless Negrete. Biancucchi completed the scoring two minutes into second-half injury time, beating one defender in the area and finishing with his left foot.

Cruz Azul will start the Group Stage against Toronto FC on August 17, one of three games on the opening night.

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