Julio Castillo (pictured) will look to keep Plaza Amador on top of the Clausura table in Panama on April 6, 2014, against Chorrillo. (Photo courtesy of Liga Panameña de Fútbol)
Saprissa will look to regain sole possession of first place in Costa Rica, while three teams have their eyes on the league lead in Honduras. CONCACAF.com previews the weekend across the Central American region.
There are only two Verano matches this weekend and both are on Friday. Saprissa (33 points) will try to take advantage of co-leader Herediano’s 1-0 loss to Belén Siglo XXI (22 points) on Thursday, when it hosts Uruguay (21 points). The Monstruo Morado is unbeaten in 15 straight games, but has only two wins in its last two outings.
CONCACAF Champions League semifinalist Alajuelense (28 points) entertain Carmelita (22 points), which will look to bounce back from last week’s loss that ended its seven-game unbeaten streak.
Another exciting round is on tap, as three teams vie for a place at the top of the Clausura table.
With one win in its last five matches, first-place Olimpia (29 points) pays a visit to Victoria on Saturday.
Only one point behind in second are Real España and Real Sociedad, which both have Sunday encounters against Parrillas One (19 points) and Marathon (21 points), respectively.
Real España forward Bryan Rochez (9 goals) is enjoying an impressive streak of six goals in his last three matches. Sociedad’s Rony Martínez – the league’s leading scorer with 15 goals – has matched Rochez’s output over that same period.
Other matches: Motagua-Vida, Platense-Deportes Savio
Only two points separate the top six teams in the table, as 11 of the 12 teams remain in contention for a playoff spot. Co-leader Universidad de San Carlos (26 points) has lost three of its last four games and will look to right the ship on Sunday at Malacateco (18 points).
Comunicaciones (26 points) may have a slight advantage over Universidad on goal difference, but it will be put to the test on Saturday against red-hot visitors Xelaju (24 points), which has won four of its last five.
Other matches: Marquense-Suchitepéquez, Mictlán-Heredia, Coatepeque-Municipal, Halcones-Iztapa
After opening the season with a seven-match unbeaten run that included six victories, first-place FAS (26 points) has only won twice in its last five. The Tigres visit Santa Tecla (13 points) on Sunday.
In an intriguing encounter that could have significant post-season implications, fifth-place Aguila (17 points) hosts sixth-place Luis Angel Firpo (16 points). Both sides are within whispering distance of the fourth and final playoff spot.
Other matches: UES-Juventud Independiente, Isidro Metapán-Alianza, Atlético Marte-Dragón
Highlighting an outstanding weekend of matches, on Sunday, first-place Plaza Amador (24 points) will host Chorrillo (23 points), which is in a tie for second-place with Arabe Unido. Chorrillo’s six-match winning streak was snapped last week in a 3-1 loss to Rio Abajo.
Arabe Unido could climb to the summit with a win over Tauro on Friday and a Plaza Amador-Chorrillo draw.
Other matches: San Francisco-Independiente, Tauro-Arabe Unido, Alianza-Rio Abajo, Sporting San Miguelito-Chepo
The final playoff spot will decided by Sunday evening as one of three teams from Real Madriz, Juventus Managua and Managua (24 points each) will to capture fourth place. Madriz will face San Marcos (17 points), Juventus will visit Diriangen (32 points) and Managua will entertain Jalapa (12 points).
Real Esteli (36 points) has already clinched the top seed.
Other matches: Walter Ferretti-Chinandega, Deportivo Ocotal-Real Estelí