Action from the August 22, 2013, CONCACAF Champions League game between Sporting Miguelito and Alajuelense (white) at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Micaela Alvarado)
PANAMA CITY, Panama - Sporting San Miguelito got a goal from John Pretelt in the first half and held on to defeat Alajuelense 1-0 in a CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) game on Thursday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
Goalkeeper Alex Rodriguez was outstanding in the Group 4 encounter for the host, which registered its first-ever CCL win in only its second game in the competition.
After dropping a 1-0 decision at home to Club America (1-0-0, 3 points) on August 7, Sporting (1-0-1, 3 pts.) kept its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals alive, while the Costa Rican side lost for the first time in four tournament openers.
Sporting had the game’s first two chances. In the sixth minute, Manuel Bonilla fired a free kick straight at Alajuelense goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton. Five minutes later, an open Alcibiades Rojas bounced a header wide left.
After Alajuelense’s Jerry Palacios failed to tally on two half chances, San Miguelito broke the deadlock seven minutes before the interval. Rojas fed a through ball to Prerfelt on the right side of the box. The 23-year-old midfielder beat two defenders and shot inside the far post for a 38th minute lead.
The visitors embarked on a second-half offensive that saw the ball remain in Sporting’s end for a great majority of the final 45 minutes.
Camilo Aguirre curled a 30-yard free kick around the defensive wall right to Rodriguez in the 50th minute.
Eight minutes later, another Aguirre effort from distance forced Rodriguez to produce a two-handed save.
Palacios had yet another chance in the 70th minute off a corner kick, but mistimed his kick from six yards.
Ariel Rodriguez fired a shot from distance in the 77th minute that Rodriguez managed to slap out of harm's way. On the ensuing corner kick, Palacios found himself with the ball only yards away from the net only to see his attempt blocked.
Alajuelense will look to bounce back when it entertains Club America August 29 in the group’s next game.