ESTELI, Nicaragua – The 2014 Nicaraguan Clausura launched this past weekend with goals and entertaining matches.
Real Esteli, which is aiming to clinch a fifth CONCACAF Champions League appearance, opened defense of its title on Saturday with a 2-0 home win over Juventus. Veteran forward Samuel Wilson struck first in the seventh minute and Norfran Lazo doubled the lead 18 minutes later.
If El Tren del Norte is successful in its pursuit of a ninth straight domestic crown, it will break the all-time record for most consecutive titles by a club in the Americas.
Walter Ferreti, the 2013 Apertura runner-up, drew 1-1 against visiting Jalapa. Darwin Ramirez put the home side ahead with a goal in the sixth minute, but an own-goal in the 56th minute by Mario Garcia gave Jalapa a share of the points.
Managua became the initial league leader with a 4-1 victory at home over Real Madriz. Neftali Navarrete netted a brace, while Marlon Lopez and Marcos Mendez added a goal each. Enoc Salgado struck for the visitors.
Deportivo Ocatal debuted with a 2-0 victory against San Marcos. Byron Maradiaga and Mario Morales scored for the host.
Perhaps the most exciting match took place in Diriamba, where Chinandega grabbed a big 2-2 draw at Diriangen. Ricardo Vega put the visitors ahead in the 28th minute, but Diriangen equalized six minutes later through Raul Leguias. In the 78th minute, the host regained the lead thanks to an Eulises Pavon goal, Vega completed the scoreline with only two minutes left in regulation time.
NOTES: Real Esteli, which won the 2013 Apertura, can earn a place in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League by winning the 2014 Clausura. In the event another side wins the current competition, the champion with the most combined points from both tournaments will qualify for the CCL.