Daniel Colindres celebrates after scoring in Saprissa's 4-0 win over visiting Belen Siglo XXI on April 20, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Saprissa)
Real España does not defend its title in Honduras, while Saprissa will enter the Verano playoffs in Costa Rica as the top seed. CONCACAF.com recaps all of the weekend action across the Central American region.
Rony Flores scored both goals as visiting Victoria defeated Real España 2-1 on Saturday to win their opening round series 4-2 on aggregate. The loss ended the Aurinegros hopes of securing a second straight domestic crown.
Honduras international Carlo Costly (10’) gave the host an early lead with an easy tap-in, but the second half belonged to Flores.
In the 65th minute, the 29-year-old forward burst into the penalty area and rounded goalkeeper Luis Lopez. After drifting to the right edge of the box, Flores lofted an effort that a recovering Lopez got a hand on, but the deflected ball eluded two defenders stationed on the line to make it 1-1.
Flores sealed the victory in stoppage time, placing a shot into an open net off a breakaway.
Marathon completed an unlikely run to the semifinals with a 0-0 draw against host Motagua on Sunday to capture their series 2-1 on aggregate.
The Monstruo Verde started the season with only two wins in its opening 12 games, but has now gone unbeaten in six of its last eight, including five victories.
Semifinal, first leg play will take place on Thursday: Victoria-Olimpia and Marathon-Real Sociedad.
Saprissa (46 points) clinched the top seed in the playoffs with a 4-0 victory over visiting Belen Siglo XXI (28 points) on Sunday. Carlos Saucedo (55’, 90’ pen) scored two goals, while Daniel Colindres (38’) and David Ramirez (83’) added one each for the Monstruo Moradao, who are now unbeaten in 20 consecutive matches.
Second-place Alajuelense (41’) made it three wins in a row, topping host UCR (32 points), 1-0, in an encounter played at Herediano’s Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. Ariel Rodriguez netted the game’s only goal with a 33rd minute penalty kick.
UCR can clinch the fourth and last playoff berth with a win over Santos de Guapiles (19 points), when the regular season comes to a close on Wednesday.
Herediano (38 points) snapped a 4-game winless streak with a 2-0 triumph at Limon. Dave Myrie (33’) and Jose Cancela (80’) struck for the goals.
Other results: Uruguay 3-0 Puntarenas; Carmelita 1-0 Santos de Guapiles; Perez Zeledon 2-2 Cartagines
After another outstanding weekend of Clausura action, there is a four-way tie for first place between Heredia, Universidad de San Carlos, Comunicaciones and Suchitepequez (33 points each).
In the game of the weekend, host Heredia rallied from a goal down to defeat Universidad, 2-1. Milton Nunez (11’) gave the visitor an early lead, but Heredia got tallies from Anderson Andrade (56’) and Milton Palacios (76’) to clinch a key victory.
Carlos Santiago Davio (72’) and Kevin Santamaria (90’) struck late to lift Suchitepequez to a 2-0 win at Comunicaciones, ending the Cremas’ winning streak at two games.
The top seven teams are within three points of each other.
Other results: Mictlan 1-0 Municipal; Coatepeque 1-0 Halcones; Malacateco 1-0 Marquense
Leagues in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama were idle this past weekend.