After finding success in this season's CONCACAF Champions Legue, Costa Rica's Alajuelense is aiming for domestic honors. (Photo: Mexsport)
ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA – Staying on course is Alajuelense's objective, when it squares off against Saprissa in the upcoming Costa Rican Invierno semifinals.
The Manudos enter the two-leg series on a five-game winning streak, allowing only a single goal during that stretch.
As an extra-added benefit, they have also claimed a semifinal berth in this season's CONCACAF Champions League. An all-Central American pairing against Panamanian side Arabe Unido awaits next March.
Despite all of the success, head coach Óscar Ramírez said that he is emphasizing the importance of not being overconfident.
“The semifinal and final are a tournament apart," said Ramirez, who is on a list of 10 for the first-ever CONCACAF Coach of the Year award. "What took place in the regular season left positive things, but that is behind and the team knows that well. They will be studied matches and for that we are working hard with full committment."
Unfortunately, for Ramírez and the team, injuries have arisen. The availability of defenders Johnny Acosta, Elías Palma and Kevin Sancho is up in the air.
It is a dilemma that could possibly make facing Saprissa more challenging, but Ramírez maintains that the team will still look to play at a high level.
“We are aware of how complicated the series will be, but we intend that the best Alajuelense will be seen in the end,” he expressed.
The first leg will be played Sunday, 11:00 a.m. local time, at the Estadio Saprissa in San Jose.