San Carlos defeats reigning champion Herediano, advances to face Saprissa
San Carlos and Saprissa won their respective series and advanced to the final of the second phase of the Costa Rican Clausura Championship.
The Sancarleños completed a comeback on home turf at Carlos Ugalde Álvarez Stadium. Facing a 2-0 after the first leg, San Carlos imposed itself with a 4-1 victory to dispatch the reigning national champion, Club Sport Herediano. The overall scoreboard favored San Carlos, 4-3.
Goals by veteran Álvaro Saborío (7th minute), Rachid Chirino (25), Luis Díaz, (own goal, 64) and Pedro Leal (84) secured the victory for San Carlos, which is led by Luis Marín, the former assistant of Jorge Luis Pinto in Brazil 2014 and Óscar Ramírez in Russia 2018. Leal scored just four minutes after entering the game. For Herediano, the goal-scorer was José Guillermo Ortiz (23).
For its part, Deportivo Saprissa defeated Municipal Pérez Zeledón at home, 2-1, and advanced to the next round due to the 3-2 aggregate.
Saprissa struck first with a free kick from Argentinian Mariano Torres (20), but, just three minutes later, José Sánchez equaled the scoreboard. The decisive goal came through the veteran Michael Barrantes (75).
With these results, San Carlos and Saprissa will play a home-and-home to decide the winner of the second phase of the tournament. This will start Sunday, at 4:00 pm local (22:00 GMT) in the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in San Juan de Tibás.
The series closes at Carlos Ugalde Stadium of Ciudad Quesada. The Sancarleños have that advantage for having finished atop the regular-season table.
For that reason, if San Carlos can defeat the club directed by Walter Centeno – participant in the World Cups of Japan and Korea 2002, and Germany 2006 – it will be crowned for the first time as monarch of Costa Rican football.
If instead, Saprissa wins the series against San Carlos, it will force a national final against the same San Carlos.
Saprissa – Pérez Zeledón 2-1 (first leg: 1-1, aggregate: 3-2)
San Carlos – Herediano 4-1 (first leg: 2-0, aggregate: 4-3)
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