Action from the Salvadoran Clausura match between Isidro Metapan (blue jersey) and Santa Tecla on May 4, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Isidro Metapan)
There will be a playoff for the last spot in the Salvadoran semifinals, while the quarterfinals concluded in Guatemala. CONCACAF.com recaps all of the weekend’s action across the Central American region.
Dragon and Santa Tecla will meet in a single-game playoff on Tuesday for the last Clausura semifinal berth.
The regular season ended Sunday with host Dragon playing Luis Angel Firpo (19 points) to a 1-1 draw and Santa Tecla falling 2-0 at Isidro Metapan (34 points) in a match that saw Puerto Rico international Hector Ramos strike for two goals. Those results meant that both teams finished in a tie for fourth place on 25 points each.
Luis Angel Firpo , one of the historic Salvadoran football teams with ten titles, dropped to the second division after a 1-1 draw with the Dragon and score 34 points in the overall classification between opening and closing.
In a match between two sides with guaranteed playoff spots, visiting FAS (36 points) defeated Juventud Independiente (29 points), 4-3, to clinch the top seed. Alexander Larin (67’, 85’) scored two unanswered goals to rally the Tigres after the host grabbed a 3-2 lead.
Other results: Atletico Marte 2-2 Alianza; UES 3-1 Aguila
Heredia, Municipal, Xelaju and Comunicaciones reached the Clausura semifinals, posting wins in the second leg of their respective quarterfinal pairings.
Top-seed Heredia overturned a 1-0 first-leg loss to oust visiting Halcones, 6-2 on aggregate. Osmar Lopez evened the series just before halftime and the host went on to score five goals in the second half. Oscar Isaula (48’, 67’) -- the Clausura’s top scorer -- netted twice, while David Espinoza (50’), Vincent Ardon (86’) and Milton Palacios (88’) also got on the scoresheet. Gregory Ruiz (85’) struck for Halcones, its only goal in a 6-1 setback.
Municipal will be Heredia’s semifinal opponent after it topped host Suchitepequez, 1-0, to advance 5-1 on aggregate. Marvin Avila (51’) scored for the Rojos, who are unbeaten in seven of their last eight outings.
Comunicaciones are now unbeaten in 20 of its last 21 home matches thanks to a 1-0 victory over Coatepeque (2-0 agg). Jose Manuel Contreras netted with one minute left in normal time for the defending champion.
Next up for the Cremas is Xelaju, which defeated Universidad de San Carlos 2-0 in the return leg and 4-2 on aggregate. Ulises Mendivil (18’), the top scorer in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League with Pachuca, and Milton Leal (87’) scored the Superchivos’ goals.
In the weekend’s only match, Rio Abajo took a huge step towards progressing to its first final with a stunning 3-0 win over top-seed Arabe Unido. Anthony Basil (36’) converted a penalty kick to give “River” a 1-0. Publio Rodriguez (84’, 90’+3) added two goals in the second half to seal an impressive result.
On Tuesday, Chorrillo and Plaza Amador will meet in the other semifinal opener.
Mighty Real Esteli earned a place in the Clausura final by beating Managua 4-1 on the day and 10-2 on aggregate. Manuel Rosas (27’ pen), Rudel Calero (60’), Juan Barrera (65’), Elmer Mejía (73’) all scored in a winning effort, while Manuel Gutierrez (90’ pen) netted a late consolation goal from the penalty spot.
El Tren del Norte will face Diriangen in the final after the Caciques got past Walter Ferreti on away goals. Diriangen won the second leg 1-0 after a 2-1 loss in the opener. José Rodríguez scored the series clincher with five minutes remaining in normal time.
There were no matches in Costa Rica in advance of the Verano final, first leg encounter on Monday between Alajuelense and visiting Saprissa. The long-time rivals have won a record-sharing 29 Costa Rican league titles each.
For coverage of the Clausura final between Olimpia and Marathon, click here.