The only CONCACAF Champions League group with two MLS teams is being led by the entry from Guatemala.
Heredia midfielder Enrique Miranda stepped into a free ball at the edge of the penalty area in the 68th minute and slammed a right-footed shot past San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham for the lone goal in the Jaguares’ 1-0 win Wednesday night.
The win puts Heredia atop the group with two narrow home victories, and makes them the first Guatemalan side to open 2-0 in CCL play. San Jose fell to 0-2 after a second consecutive 1-0 defeat. Montreal sits in the middle at 1-1.
The Quakes dominated possession Wednesday, especially in the first half, but failed to make Heredia goalkeeper Jose Calderon put in much work. Chris Wondolowski was credited with the Quakes’ lone shot on goal for the evening.
The hosts came out with more verve after intermission, and it paid off when substitute winger Anderson Andrade cut in from the right side after collecting a throw in. Quakes midfielder Ramiro Corrales stopped Andrade’s run with a shoulder block at the corner of San Jose’s penalty area, but the ball rolled freely along the top of the box.
Miranda took advantage, putting Heredia’s first shot on goal of the evening past Bingham, as the Quakes’ usual backup dove to his right without success.
San Jose, making its CCL debut this year, could not get their first point in the competition despite using a handful of regulars. Defender Victor Bernardez and midfielder Rafael Baca, both of whom are suspended for Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy, were in the starting XI.
So too was Wondolowski, who had the game’s first legitimate chance with an ninth-minute toe poke wide off Adam Jahn’s flick of a lengthy Dan Gargan throw in.
Wondolowski was credited with a shot in the 36th minute when he put a back-post header to Justin Morrow’s cross from the left wing, but Calderon sprang off his line to gobble it up.
San Jose’s attack perked up after the insertion of substitutes Cordell Cato, Steven Lenhart and Marvin Chavez, but it didn’t translate into any clear-cut opportunities for an equalizer.
Jaime Alas drew a 67th-minute free kick in a central location just inside 30 yards, but Corrales’ attempt dipped too late into the top netting.
Wondolowski helped generate a chance in the 76th minute by popping up a header from Chavez’s cross to open space outside the back post, but Baca’s side-footed volley flew high.
The Quakes return to CCL action with a must-win home matchup against Montreal on Sept. 17. Heredia travel to face the Impact a week later.