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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Alajuelense, Herediano will meet in Costa Rica soccer final

Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Club Sport Herediano eliminated reigning champion San Carlos and Deportivo Saprissa, respectively, in the semifinals of the 2019 Apertura Championship of Costa Rica soccer.

Alajuelense dispatched the Sancarleños in the return game at Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium, 3-0, with two goals from 2014 World Cup star Marco Ureña (22nd and 43rd minutes) and one from Jonathan McDonald (62nd).

The game marked the retirement of veteran attacker Alvaro Saborío, who hung up his boots after an 18-year career in Costa Rica, England, Switzerland and the United States.

In Costa Rican football, he scored 137 times: 96 with Saprissa and 41 with San Carlos. He is the current leading scorer of the tournament (13) but is threatened by Ariel Lassiter (12).

Herediano eliminated Saprissa via penalties after tying the series, 1-1, to advance to the second-phase final.

The first leg of the Alajuelense-Herediano final will be held on Wednesday; the return match will be at Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium. If Alajuelense wins the home-and-home, it will be crowned the 2019 Apertura champion.

Otherwise, if Herediano wins the second-phase final, it will advance to a “Gran Final” against Alajuela, which earned a berth in that round after it finished atop the regular-season table.

Alajuelense is looking for its 30th championship, while Herediano aspires to its 28th star.

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