• Saturday May 10, 2014

    Central America Weekend Preview (May 9-11)

    Rio Abajo (red jersey) qualified for the Panamanian Clausura final after getting past Arabe Unido in the semifinals. (Photo: Liga Panameña de Fútbol)

    The Verano champion will be decided in Costa Rica, Rio Abajo qualifies for the Panamanian Clausura final and the semifinals kick-off in El Salvador. CONCACAF.com previews the weekend across the Central American region.


    After playing to a 0-0 draw in the opener of the Verano final, Alajuelense will visit Saprissa on Saturday with a record at stake.  The rivals share the mark for most Costa Rican first-division titles at 29 apiece.

    Remarkably, defending champion Alajuelense has not scored in three finals games.  In the 2013 Invierno, the Manudos lifted the trophy on penalty kicks after their two-legged series with Herediano ended scoreless.

    Saprissa received the good news that starting goalkeeper Luis Michel, has recovered from his injury and will be available for selection.  The Monstruo Morado is winless, though, in three of its last four matches after going unbeaten in 20 straight.


    The Clausura semifinals open on Saturday with Dragon hosting top-seeded FAS this Saturday in the first leg.  FAS is unbeaten in four of its last five games, while Dragon is winless in its last four at the Estadio Juan Francisco Barraza.

    The other semifinal starts on Sunday as defending champion Isidro Metapan travels to Juventud Independiente.  The attacking sides were even with Atletico Marte for the most goals scored in the 2014 Clausura at 28 each.


    The semifinals conclude this weekend as top-seeded Heredia hosts Municipal.  After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Heredia will look for its 12th straight win at home.

    Comunicaciones rallied from a deficit to defeat visiting Xelaju 3-1 in the first leg.  The Cremas will look to seal the series on the road, but they are winless in seven of their last 10 away from home.

    If both Comunicaciones and Heredia progress, it will be a rematch of the 2013 Torneo Apertura.


    Rio Abajo advanced to the Clausura final after defeating Arabe Unido 1-0 on Friday to capture their semifinal series 4-0 on aggregate.  Anthony Basil made it two goals in as many games, netting off a rebound in the 61st minute after Miguel Lloyd saved a Publio Rodriguez effort.

    The other semifinal will be played Saturday as Chorrillo will try to overcome a 1-0 deficit when it takes on Plaza Amador.  Alfredo Stephens scored in the 90th minute of the first leg.


    The Clausura final will kick-off Saturday, when Diriangen hosts Real Estelí in the first leg. Diriangen’s objective is clear: break Esteli’s streak of eight consecutive Nicaraguan titles.


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