Saprissa (pictured) is the Costa Rican Verano leader after defeating Carmelita, 1-0, on April 4, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Saprissa)
Saprissa once again tops the table in Costa Rica, while Olimpia now shares the Honduran Clausura lead with Real España. CONCACAF.com recaps all of the action across the Central American region.
Heiner Mora struck in the 84th minute on Friday to give host Saprissa (36 points) a 1-0 win over Carmelita (22 points) and sole possession of first place. After opening the season with a loss, the Monstruo Morado has embarked on a 16-match unbeaten run.
CONCACAF Champions League semifinalists Alajuelense (31 points) made it three straight domestic wins with a 3-0 triumph over visiting Uruguay, also on Friday. Juan Guzman (28’), Jerry Palacios (45’) and an own-goal by Seemore Johnson (88’) accounted for all the scoring. The Manudos remain in third place, two points behind Herediano.
Real España (29 points) made it 11 games without a loss, playing Parrillas One (20 points) to a 3-3 draw. The defending champion looked on its way to obtaining the full three points, but Javier Estupiñán equalized with a 90th minute penalty kick. Honduras international Carlo Costly scored twice for España, which now shares the league lead with Olimpia.
After Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Victoria (23 points), the Lions are winless in five of their last six matches, including four losses.
Real Sociedad (28 points) missed a chance to take the top spot thanks to a 2-0 loss at surging Marathon (24 points) on Sunday. The Realeza has only three wins in its last 10 encounters.
Other results: Motagua 3-1 Vida, Platense 1-1 Deportes Savio
Kevin Santamaria scored three goals and Suchitepequez (28 points) defeated host Marquense (20 points), 4-2, to become the new Clausura leader. The Mazatenango side is one point ahead of Comunicaciones and Universidad de San Carlos, each of which drew 1-1 against Xelaju (25 points) and Malacateco (19 points), respectively.
The Cremas are winless in five of their last seven outings, while Universidad now has only two wins in its last nine.
Other results: Mictlan 1-0 Heredia, Halcones 0-0 Iztapa, Coatepeque 1-2 Municipal
First-place FAS (26 points) lost 5-2 at Santa Tecla and now holds a single-point lead over defending champion Isidro Metapan. Prior to Sunday’s encounter, the Tigres had conceded nine goals in 12 games this season.
Metapan got both of its goals from Puerto Rico international Hector Ramos in a 2-0 victory over Alianza (13 points). Despite it being only the Jaguares’ second win in their last six home games, they continue inching closer to the top spot.
Other results: UES 0-2 Juventud Independiente, Atletico Marte 2-2 Dragon, Aguila 2-2 Luis Angel Firpo
Arabe Unido (26 points) jumped into first place thanks to its 1-0 win over Tauro (15 points) and a 1-1 draw between Plaza Amador (25 points) and Chorrillo (24 points). The Expreso Azul won for a third straight time on the strength of Joseph Cox’s 74th minute goal.
Plaza Amador has scored one goal or less in its last six games.
Other matches: San Francisco 0-1 Independiente, Alianza 2-2 Rio Abajo, Sporting San Miguelito 1-4 Chepo
On the last day of regular-season play, William Mendieta scored two goals and Managua FC (27 points) won 2-0 at Jalapa (12 points) to claim the final spot in the Clausura semifinals on goal difference over Real Madriz, a 2-0 winner San Marcos (17 points).
Managua joins first-place Real Esteli (38 points), Diriangen (33 points) and Walter Ferreti (32 points) in the final four.
Ferreti posted a 10-0 win over last-place Chinandega (10 points), as Javier Dolmus struck for four goals and Spain’s Daniel Cadena netted three.
Esteli topped Deportivo Ocotal (19 points), 5-0, behind two goals from Norfran Lazo (53’, 63’).
The semifinal pairings are Real Esteli-Managua and Diriangen-Walter Ferreti.
Chinandega was relegated to the second division for the 2014-2015 season, while San Marcos will meet the second division runner-up for a place in first division.
Other results: Diriangen 1-1 Juventus Managua