Walter Ferretti’s Jose Bernardo Laureiro (pictured) struck for three goals in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League. (Photo: Emir Alfaro)
MANAGUA, Nicaragua – In December, Walter Ferretti claimed the 2017 Nicaraguan Apertura crown on the away-goals rule after its two-legged final against Managua FC ended in a 1-1 draw.
“Being Apertura champion is important because it makes us feel that the work done during the tournament was rewarded in the best way,” midfielder Jose Bernardo Laureiro told CONCACAF.com. “Personally, it is an immense joy because to raise this title with the institution that one loves very much is doubly comforting.”
It was the Rojinegros’ first title since the 2014 Apertura, earning them a berth in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL). The triumph capped a memorable 2017 for Ferretti, which also advanced to the 2017 SCL quarterfinals.
“It is a historic year for both the club and the country to be the first team to achieve that,” Laureiro said in regard to getting past the Belmopan Bandits (agg: 5-1) in the SCL Round of 16, before being eliminated by Plaza Amador (agg: 1-2). “It was for anyone passing through the years and nobody who comes after will erase it. They will know who was first.”
On the offensive end, the Rojinegros did not score more than one goal in any of their last six games (including playoffs). In regular-season play, however, Walter Ferretti equaled Real Esteli in allowing a league-low 15 goals, critically conceding only twice in four playoff outings.
“The fundamental key of this team is to have a solid defense and know how to finish goals on the occasions created in the front,” remarked Laureiro, who had three goals and one assist in the SCL.
What can Ferretti do for an encore in 2018? Laureiro is eager to tackle all challenges.
“First is to achieve the national title,” the 25-year-old Uruguayan finished. “Then aspire to give the best in order to reach a step further on the international level and continue making history.”
With the club’s trajectory trending upward, there’s every reason to believe more success is on the way.