Yendrick Ruiz (white jersey) and Herediano will face Uruguay in Costa Rican Verano play on March 9, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
As anticipation builds for Monday’s all-Central American CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal between Costa Rica’s Alajuelense and Arabe Unido of Panama, there is plenty to enjoy in the region’s domestic leagues this weekend. CONCACAF.com previews all of the action across Central America.
On Sunday, first-place Herediano (23 points) will look bounce back from last week’s 2-0 loss to Carmelita, when it hosts Uruguay. The Florenses have scored a league-best 23 goals and are level with Alajuelense in the least amount of goals allowed at nine.
That same day, Perez Zeledon (7 points), which is in last place, will try to end second-place Saprissa’s 10-game unbeaten streak.
CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist Alajuelense will have the weekend off as it prepares to host Panama’s Arabe Unido on Monday.
Other matches: Santos de Guapiles-Limon, Puntarenas-Belen Siglo XXI, Cartagines-UCR
With its thoughts on Monday’s CCL quarterfinal against Alajuelense, Arabe Unido (16 points) fell Thursday to Rio Abajo (12 points), 2-1. Despite a second straight loss, the Expreso Azul remained in a three-way tie for first place with Alianza and Plaza Amador, which both have games this weekend.
Alianza will host Independiente on Saturday, while Plaza Amador welcomes Tauro a day later.
Other matches: San Francisco-Sporting San Miguelito, Alianza-Independiente, Plaza Amador-Tauro, Chorrillo-Chepo
It will be a battle for second place on Sunday as Motagua (16 points) travels to Real Sociedad (17 points). After winning five straight games, Real has gone winless in its last three, while Motagua has scored one goal or less in its last seven outings.
Also on Sunday, table-topping Olimpia (22 points) entertains Vida (7 points), which is in a tie for last place with Deportes Savio.
Other matches: Marathon-Platense, Victoria-Parrillas One, Deportes Savio-Real España
After a weekend that produced only two winners from six games, the Clausura will heat up on Saturday with a battle between rivals Comunicaciones (20 points) and Municipal (13 points).
The Cremas trail first-place Universidad de San Carlos by two points and are coming off two consecutive victories. Though Mictlan ended Municipal’s six-game unbeaten last week, the Rojos have still conceded one goal or less in each of their last seven outings.
Universidad, which visits Coatepeque on Sunday, is unbeaten this season, but has only one win in its last five matches.
Other matches: Xelaju-Suchitepequez, Mictlan-Marquense, Heredia-Iztapa, Malacateco-Halcones
Co-leaders Walter Ferreti and Real Esteli (25 points each) are both in action on Saturday, playing Managua and Real Madriz, respectively. Third-place Diriangen, however, trails by only a single point and will host San Marcos a day later.
Other matches: Deportivo Ocotal-Chinandega, Juventus Managua-Jalapa
The Salvadoran league is idle this weekend.