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Fútbol Friday: Saprissa leads in CONCACAF final, Olympic qualifying schedule set

November 8, 2019

Costa Rican club Saprissa defeated Motagua, 1-0, on Thursday night at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in the first leg of the CONCACAF League final.

Johan Venegas scored the game’s lone goal in the 19th minute.

The teams will meet again later this month in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the return leg of the final.

***

The CONCACAF qualifying tournament for women’s soccer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics  is set.

Costa Rica is in a group with the United States, Panama and Haiti.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will each receive a bid to the Olympics.

Group A matches will take place at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas starting Jan. 28. Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. will host the semifinals and final.

Costa Rica will get a taste of the United States — the reigning World Cup champions — when the teams face off Sunday in an international friendly.

***

Major League Soccer club FC Cincinnati has extended Tico midfielder Allan Cruz’s contract.

Cruz led Cincinnati in scoring in 2019 with seven goals and was named team MVP.

“We are delighted to sign Allan Cruz to a contract extension,” FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp said in a statement. “When Allan gets the ball, he provides creativity for us in the final third. While he is still a developing player, who we believe will continue to improve, we think his playmaking ability is a great quality to have on our team.”

Cruz was one of few bright spots for FC Cincinnati this year. The team finished 2019 in last place of the Eastern Conference with a league-worst goal differential of minus-44.

 

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