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Saprissa rescues agonized draw against Montreal Impact in Champions League

February 20, 2020

Deportivo Saprissa rescued in the last breath a 2-2 draw against the Montreal Impact in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the CONCACAF Champions League, played Wednesday at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in San Juan de Tibás.

The Costa Ricans rallied to earn a tie in the final stretch of a match they had fallen behind in the first half-hour thanks to goals from Orji Okwonkwo (12) and Romell Quioto (22).

But Saprissa, managed by Walter Centeno, clawed back with a second half in which they were far superior to the men led by Thierry Henry, world champion with France in 1998.

The buildup paid off in the last 10 minutes with goals from Johan Venegas (80) and Ariel Rodríguez (90).

Watch all the highlights below:

To stay alive in the CONCACAF Champions League, Saprissa must win the return leg, or tie at three or more goals. If the Impact wins or draws 1-1 or 0-0, it will seal its ticket to the quarterfinals. A 2-2 draw in Montreal will cause the series to be decided by penalty kicks (no extra time is played).

The return match will Wednesday at Saputo Stadium in Montreal. The Saprissa-Impact winner will face either the Seattle Sounders or Olimpia of Honduras, which face off Thursday in San Pedro Sula.

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