Deportivo Saprissa is on the brink of its 35th Costa Rican first-division championship following Sunday night’s 2-2 tie with Club Sport Herediano.
The result at Eladio Rosabal Cordero Stadium leaves Saprissa in a favorable position to claim the title when the “Gran Final” concludes next weekend in Tibás.
Saprissa never led in Sunday’s match but secured the road draw minutes before the final whistle when Alejandro Cabral fired home a rebound.
Playing in front of a packed home crowd, C.S. Herediano dominated the first half against a Saprissa side content on utilizing a five-person back line. “El Team” took advantage in the 40th minute with Esteban Granados’s finish following goalkeeper Kevin Briceño’s inability to punch away a cross.
But Herediano couldn’t build a larger advantage, and Saprissa equalized in the 69th minute when Johan Venegas headed home a Christian Bolaños cross.
Herediano regained its lead in the 80th minute through forward Aldo Magaña, but the home side — which seeks its 27th first-division title — couldn’t maintain the 2-1 advantage in the closing moments.
The decisive return leg of the final will be played next Sunday, Dec. 23 at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá in Tibás, where representatives for Saprissa say tickets for the match have already sold out.