Isidro Metapan poses for a team photo prior to its 2013 Salvadoran Apertura final encounter against FAS on December 15, 2013, at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador. (Photo courtesy of Isidro Metapan/somosmetapan.com)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Andres Flores scored the game-winning goal late in the second half and Isidro Metapan won the 2013 Salvadoran Apertura, defeating FAS 1-0 in the final on Sunday at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
Metapan joined Luis Angel Firpo and FAS as the only teams to capture the title after qualifying for the playoffs through a single-game tiebreaker. It topped Alianza 1-0 in an elimination match to decide which would finish in fourth place and earn a spot in the semifinals.
Additionally, by virtue of their triumph, the Jaguares qualified for the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League, becoming the first team to secure a berth in all seven editions of the competition.
The curtain closer enjoyed a fluid rhythm straight from the opening whistle. FAS gave first notice of intent, as Williams Reyes fired an effort off the crossbar from 20-yards out before two minutes had elapsed.
Metapan’s vibrant strike duo of Panamanian Nicolas Munoz and Puerto Rico’s Hector Ramos offered flexible attacking options, but FAS was equally firm in defense.
As the game wore on, it appeared that the evenly matched sides would decide the championship after full-time, but then Flores made the decisive play.
In the 84th minute, Metapan gained possession in midfield and played through Marvin Monterrosa, who dribbled into the middle. With the FAS defense shifting to its left in pursuit, Monterrosa slipped a clever reverse ball to an unmarked Flores on the left. The 22-year-old midfielder dribbled in on net and easily slotted past goalkeeper Luis Contreras.
“I am so very proud that history will carry my name,” Flores told reporters immediately after the game. “[Head coach Jorge Rodríguez] told me that I would win the final so I wanted to give thanks to him.”
The title is Metapan’s eighth in its history and it has won the last four Apertura crowns.