Tauro celebrates after winning the 2013 Panamanian Apertura title on November 29, 2013, at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City . (Photo: Digicel Panama)
PANAMÁ CITY, Panama – Emotion and history marked Tauro’s 1-0 win over San Francisco in the 2013 Panamanian Apertura final, the 12th domestic crown in club history.
After all, the Toros played nearly the entire season without talented forward Luis Renteria. Since September, the 25-year-old has received care at Saint Thomas Hospital for systemic lupus and lupus nephritis.
For that reason, the Tauro players dedicated the title to their ill teammate after the final whistle on Friday.
“I think we fought,” defender Luis Moreno told the media post-match. “We gave our all and this win is for Luis because he deserves it.”
The triumph also held significant meaning for former Tauro midfielder Rolando Palma. It was his first title as a head coach and he explained to the press that the entire campaign was the fulfillment of a dream.
“I am so happy,” expressed the 41-year-old. “I have no words to thank [the players] because they have gifted me my wish, which was to win the first star.”
Not to be overlooked, however, is the historical aspect of Tauro’s success.
“This title is significant for us because we are going to play in the Champions League,” Israel Sanjur, who scored the game-winning goal, stated proudly.
By virtue of its Apertura championship, the Panamanian side has qualified for its fifth CONCACAF Champions League and will play in the 2014-15 edition.
Tauro has left a unique mark on the tournament, scoring the first-ever goal on August 26, 2008. Edwin Aguilar netted in the sixth minute of a 2-0 win over Chivas USA at the Estadio Nacional Rod Carew in a preliminary round encounter.