• Saturday Sep 16, 2017

    Santos de Guapiles’ Chaves satisfied with SCL draw

    Santos de Guapiles head coach Johnny Chaves (pictured) walks toward his bench during a Scotiabank CONCACAF League match at Arabe Unido on September 13, 2017, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Israel Zapateiro)

    PANAMA CITY, Panama – For Santos de Guapiles head coach Johnny Chaves, Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Arabe Unido in the first leg of their 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League semifinal was a tale of two halves.

    He acknowledged the host had the better first-half performance (Arabe could have gone ahead 1-0, only for Carlos Small’s penalty kick to be save by goalkeeper Bryan Morales), Chaves felt like his team was the better side after the break.

    “In the first half, we were not clear with the ball, but in the second half, we made an adjustment and we found more clarity,” said Chaves.  “In the counterattack, we generated very good chances.  The two halves were different.”

    With both sides competing in their first CONCACAF semifinal of any kind, the match was a cagey affair.

    Chances were difficult to produce.  Santos’ defense, once again, proved tough to crack in posting a third shutout in five SCL outings, including a 1-0 win over Chorrillo FC in the same stadium on August 15.

    For next Thursday’s second leg, Chaves says he expects another tight contest.

    “The draw is positive,” he finished.  “Now what’s left is to prepare for this weekend (Sunday, away v UCR) and later host Arabe Unido in what I think will be a match as equally close.”

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