Action from the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal between Alajuelense and visiting Arabe Unido (blue jersey) on March 10, 2014, in Alajuela, Costa Rica. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica -- Alajuelense and visiting Arabe Unido battled to a scoreless draw in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series on Monday at the Estadio Alejando Morera Soto.
Despite outshooting the Panamanians, 21-7, it was first time the Manudos had been shutout in nine all-time home CCL encounters.
Jonathan McDonald produced the host’s the first chance in the ninth minute, but goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd made the stop.
In the 24th minute, Ariel Rodriguez powered a shot from outside the penalty area straight at Lloyd, a Dominican Republic international.
Arabe Unido's best opportunity came with a minute remaining in the half as Humberto Ward was denied at the right post.
The Expreso Azul appeared to gain additional confidence at the start of the second half.
Abdiel Arroyo made Alajuelense supporters sweat in the 57th minute, when he went one-on-one with defender Porfirio Lopez in the box. His shot, though, bounced wide right out of bounds.
Five minutes later, teammate Abdiel Macea flicked a header at the left back post that did not find the target.
Rodriguez came close to giving the host a 69th minute only to see his six-yard header off a corner kick go over the crossbar.
The Costa Ricans came close multiple times in the last four minutes.
Lloyd saved a McDonald effort, while Alvaro Sanchez’s free kick from 23-yards late in stoppage time sailed over the crossbar.
Both teams extended their CCL shutout streaks as Alajuelense and Arabe have not allowed a goal in 413 and 283 minutes, respectively.
The action moves to the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City for the second leg on March 20.