MONTERREY, Mexico - Defending champion Monterrey moved within a point of returning to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, beating Herediano 1-0 Tuesday night on a first-half goal by Aldo De Nigris.
The victory improved "Los Rayados" to nine points in Group D, one behind Seattle and two ahead of Comunicaciones with one round of matches to play.
Seattle drew 2-2 with Comunicaciones in Guatemala City on Tuesday, becoming the first to clinch a place in the quarterfinals and leaving Monterrey with only needing a draw in its final match to claim the group's second berth.
Monterrey, which already has won the head-to-head series with Comunicaciones, will travel to Seattle on October 18 while Comunicaciones will play at Herediano a day later.
Herediano, which leads the Costa Rican Invierno, lost for the fourth time in five games in the Champions League and was eliminated from quarterfinal contention, joining Motagua from Group A.
The victory was only the second in six games for Monterrey, both at home and both in the Champions League.
With heat still 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 centrigrade) at kickoff and facing a group finale at Seattle, Monterrey manager changed more than half of his starting lineup from the squad that lost 2-1 to Queretaro, but included Humberto Suazo, De Nigris and Walter Ayovi.
Suazo and De Nigris both had chances, with Suazo forcing Herediano keeper Daniel Cambronero to come off his line to punch away a free kick into the area only a minute and a half into the match.
De Nigris had a header that Cambronero was in position to field easily in the 25th. But the Guatemalan keeper was unable to stop another five minutes later when Jesus Corona took a throw-in down the left side, was able to turn and drive toward the net before sending a cross that the 28-year-old nodded in unmarked from inside the six.
Herediano had its chances in the first half, albeit fewer, its best when Junior Alvarado hit the bar from the edge of the penalty area in the 28th.
The Costa Ricans had more chances in the second half, including Anderson Andrade's shot from the edge of the goal box that hit the side netting in the 48th, and Andrade's cross into the middle of the area six minutes later that Monterrey scramble to clear.
The match was the third in four in the Champions League that Monterrey has scored one goal or less, including a 1-0 loss to Seattle at home on August 23.