ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – With the second leg of its all-Central American CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Panama’s Arabe Unido just days away, Alajuelense is completely focused on the enormity of the task at hand.
The two-time confederation champion has set to the side its domestic league activities, so that it goes into the return leg in optimal condition after last Monday’s 0-0 draw in the opener.
“Our priority always has been the international competition,” said head coach Oscar Ramirez. “The team is very committed and in each training session the desire of each and every one to advance from the round can be seen.
“We now know Arabe Unido a little better and we are going to have a clear idea of what the match will present there.”
Just two days after tying Arabe, Alajuelense suffered a 4-2 loss to Limon in the Costa Rican Verano.
The 49-year-old manager emphasized the importance of his team regaining its rhythm in Panama City, especially since it has registered only one win in its last six games in all competitions.
“We are coming off an unexpected defeat in Limon, but this team knows how to pick themselves up in crucial moments and they have showed it,” Ramirez expressed. “In Panama, we are not going to gift anything, no matter what.
“We want to put ourselves into the next stage of the competition.”
This year marks the first time that the Manudos advanced past the CCL’s group stage. They have not conceded a goal in four straight games.
The second leg will be played Thursday at the Estadio Rommel.