• Saturday Dec 15, 2012

    Central American Weekend Preview

    Three champions will be crowned on an electric weekend across Central America, where titles will be decided in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua before the new week begins.

    On Sunday, Alianza and Isidro Metapan will play for the Salvadoran Apertura title in a championship match at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador. The two historic teams last faced off in an Apertura final in 2010, when Metapan won a penalty kick shootout to claim the crown.

    This time around, Metapan is looking for its seventh title, while Alianza - at home in the national stadium despite its characterization as a neutral venue for this match - hopes to add an eleventh title to the collection.

    The Invierno 2012 final will be played over two legs on consecutive Sundays, making Costa Rica's the latest ending tournament in the region.

    Herediano hosts the first leg of the final on December 16 against Alajuelense at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero.

    The defending Costa Rican champion and CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist eliminated Saprissa in the semifinals on a dramatic last minute winner, and now faces another of Costa Rica's historic clubs for the title.

    Alajuelense was a 4-2 winner the last time the sides met on November 10. Christopher Meneses scored twice in a winning effort.

    It all comes down to Saturday night in Esteli as Walter Ferretti and host Real Esteli battle for the Nicaraguan 2012 Apertura crown.

    The two sides played to a scoreless draw Monday night in Managua, meaning a winner on Saturday would take home the title. While Real Esteli enjoys home field advantage by virtue of winning the semifinal round, the away goals rule is in effect and could bolster Ferretti.

    Real Esteli is seeking its fourth straight Nicaraguan trophy, while Walter Ferretti last won the title in 2010.

    Municipal and Comunicaciones are set to battle once more for the Guatemalan crown, in a capital derby that kicks off Friday night at Mateo Flores Stadium, with the second leg to be played Monday at Estadio Cementos Progreso.

    This will be the third time in the last four tournaments that Guatemala's two most historic sides have faced off for the title. In the Clausura 2011, Comunicaciones won lifted the trophy, while the Rojos turned the tables six months later for the Apertura 201. The winner secures a CONCACAF Champions League berth.

    After a scoreless tie on the road in La Ceiba, Victoria and Olimpia face off on Sunday afternoon at the Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa for the title of 2012 Apertura champion. Olimpia is seeking a record 26th crown in the club's centennial year, while Victoria is after its second-ever Honduran championship in 77 years of existence.

    The winner secures an automatic bid to the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League.

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