Real España celebrates after scoring during its 3-1 win over Real Sociedad in the first leg of the Honduran Apertura final on December 9, 2013, at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula. (Photo courtesy of Real España)
Real España captured the first leg of the Honduran final at home, while Guatemala and El Salvador now have their finalists. CONCACAF.com recaps the action across the Central America.
Real España got two goals Bryan Rochez and another from Claudio Nicolas Labariñas Cardozo to defeat Real Sociedad 3-1 in the first leg of the Honduran Apertura final on Sunday at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula.
Rochez opened the scoring in the 15th minute, reacting well to strike from seven-yards out off a cross from the left side of the box by Allan Aleman. The 18-year-old forward netted his second 17 minutes later with a header from the edge of the six-yard box.
Real Sociedad was able to cut the deficit in the 58th minute courtesy of a penalty converted by Elkin Gonzalez. Three minutes prior, home goalkeeper Luis Lopez brought down Rony Martínez in the area and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Four minutes later, Labariñas Cardozo sealed the win, controlling a ball from Rochez with his thigh and firing in with his right foot.
Head coach Hernán Medford’s team will now look to become champion next Sunday, when the return leg is contested at the Estadio Francisco Martinez Duron in Tocoa.
Comunicaciones and Heredia are the finalists in Guatemala following second leg play in the Apertura semifinals this past weekend.
Comunicaciones followed up a 1-0 first-leg loss to Marquense with a 4-0 win at home on Saturday. A penalty kick by Juan Jose Paredes, plus additional goals from Paolo Suárez, Jairo Arreola and Jonathan Marquez, paved the way for a comprehensive Cremas triumph.
On Sunday, visiting Heredia completed a 4-1 aggregate triumph over Municipal with a a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Manuel Felipe Carrera, El Trebol. A 17th minute goal by Mario Rodríguez goal gave the Rojos hope of a momentous comeback, but Manuel Lopez’s equalizer five minutes before the break ensured that Heredia advanced comfortably.
Heredia will host Comunicaciones in the first leg of the final on Thursday at the Estadio in the Estadio Del Monte. The two sides also met in the 2013 Clausura final, which was won by Comunicaciones, 2-1 on aggregate.
After surviving an entertaining Sunday of second leg, semifinal action, Isidro Metapan and FAS will meet in the Salvadoran Apertura final.
At San Salvador’s Estadio Cuscatlan, ten-man Metapan rallied late from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with Atletico Marte and progress 3-2 on aggregate. Marte took advantage of Narciso Orellana’s 21st minute ejection, when Christopher Ramirez poked home from close range off Otoniel Salinas’ left-sided cross 11 minutes later. Ramirez doubled the advantage in 73rd minute on the second attempt, chipping in from four-yards out after his initial attempt was blocked.
With five minutes left in regulation, Metapan’s Milton Molina made it 2-1, sharply heading in a corner kick from seven yards.
Two minutes later, Andres Flores delivered a cross just outside the six-yard box that Puerto Rico international Hector Ramos headed into an empty net to seal Metapan’s place in the final.
In Santa Ana, Jefferson Viveros scored a goal in each half to lead FAS to a 2-1 win over visiting Juventud Independiente, giving the Tigers a 4-3 aggregate triumph. The Colombian struck for the host in the 31st and 81st minutes, while Oscar Ceren netted for Juventud in the 63rd.
The single-game final will be played on Sunday at the Estadio Cuscatlan with the winner earning a place in the next CONCACAF Champions League.
For information on Costa Rican Invierno play, click here.