Luis Angel Firpo (pictured) will face Isidro Metapan in the Salvadoran Clausura on February 22, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
Alajuelense takes on Saprissa in the Costa Rican “Clasico”, while Universidad de San Carlos will look to fortify its credentials against Comunicaciones in Guatemala. CONCACAF.com previews all of the weekend action across the Central American region.
Two of Costa Rica’s footballing giants will square off on Sunday, when Alajuelense (16 points) hosts Saprissa (15 points) to conclude ninth-round play. Second-place Alajuelense, a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist, is coming off a 0-0 draw with Cartagines.
Saprissa enters the contest with plenty of confidence following a 4-0 win over Santos de Guapiles in its last outing. Kendall Waston struck for two first-half goals to help keep the Purple Monster in third, while Mexican goalkeeper Luis Michel did not allow a goal for the first time since joining the club before the new season.
Other matches: Santos de Guapiles-Perez Zeledon, Herediano-UCR, Uruguay-Limon, Belen Siglo XXI-Cartagines, Puntarenas-Carmelita
Sunday represents a golden opportunity for Universidad de San Carlos to establish its ascendancy in an encounter against reigning champion Comunicaciones. Universidad is in first place with 15 points after seven rounds in the Clausura, three more than the second-place Cremas.
It is also expected that Sunday will mark the debut of legendary striker Carlos Ruiz with Municipal (9 points), which hosts Halcones (9 points).
Other matches: Marquense-Coatepeque, Suchitpéquez-Malacateco, Iztapa-Mictlán, Heredia-Xelajú
After having its five-game winning streak end at the hands of Marathon last week, co-leader Real Sociedad (16 points) will attempt to rebound on Saturday at Victoria (10 points). The Realeza’s Rony Martinez tops the Honduran Clausura in scoring with eight goals.
The other co-leader, Olimpia (16 points) has allowed only one goal in its last four outings. It will aim to remain unbeaten after a Sunday encounter at Deportes Savio.
Other matches: Marathon-Vida, Victoria-Real Sociedad, Deportes Savio-Olimpia, Motagua-Parrillas Uno
CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist Arabe Unido (13 points) faces Independiente (7 points) on Saturday with the objective of separating itself from Plaza Amador (13 points) atop the Clausura table. The Lions will host fifth-place San Francisco (8 points) on Sunday.
Also, on Saturday, Chepo (4 points) will hope to secure its first win of the season, when it visits Alianza (10 points).
Other matches: Tauro-Chorrillo, Alianza-Chepo, Sporting San Miguelito-Río Abajo
A grand duel is expected on Saturday as Luis Angel Firpo hosts Isidro Metapan. The sides are tied for second place on 10 points each. Firpo is unbeaten in its last four games, while Metapan will look to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Atletico Marte.
First-place FAS (13 points) will welcome Alianza (7 points) to Santa Ana.
Other matches: Dragon-Santa Tecla, Juventud Independiente-Aguila, Atletico Marte-UES
Joint-top leaders Real Esteli and Walter Ferreti, both on 16 points, will play on the road this weekend. Esteli will face Juventus Managua on Friday, while Ferretti travels to Jalapa two days later.
Third-place Diriangen (15 points) is the only unbeaten team in the Clausura after nine rounds. It will square off against host Chinandega on Sunday.
Other matches: Real Madriz-Managua, San Marcos-Deportivo Ocotal