No bull: San Carlos wins historic Costa Rican soccer championship
A.D. San Carlos has made history.
With Wednesday’s scoreless draw against Saprissa at Carlos Ugalde Álvarez Stadium in Ciudad Quesada, the Toros del Norte (Bulls of the North) captured their first-ever championship in Costa Rica’s top division.
Despite a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s first leg, played at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in Tibás, the Sancarleños earned the title due to their away goal.
With the victory, San Carlos obtained one of the three spots assigned to Costa Rica for the CONCACAF Champions League. The others classified to the regional contest are C.S. Herediano and Saprissa.
The Toros del Norte completed an unlikely run after earning promotion into Costa Rica’s first division only a year ago. The team is 54 years old.
It was also a remarkable feat for San Carlos’s coach, Luis Antonio Marín, who replaced the Argentine Martin Cardetti and took over the club in January.
This is Marín’s first experience as a head coach. He has been an assistant for the Costa Rican national team under Jorge Luis Pinto, Paulo César Wanchope and Óscar Ramírez.
The veteran Álvaro Saborío — who came out of retirement to play for his hometown A.D. San Carlos club when it was still in the second division — was the Clausura’s leading scorer with 12 goals.
Since the short tournaments were introduced in Winter 2007, San Carlos is the fourth team of the so-called small or non-traditional clubs in Costa Rica to win a title.
The previous ones were Liberia in Summer 2009, Brujas in Winter 2009 and Pérez Zeledón in the Apertura 2017.
San Carlos achieved the championship in its third attempt at the title after falling in the finals of Summer 2010 and Summer 2011 against Saprissa and Alajuelense, respectively.
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