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Costa Rica
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Saprissa nears title after beating Alajuelense

Saprissa defeated Alajuelense, 2-0, on Wednesday in the first leg of the second-round final of the Clausura 2020 Championship of Costa Rican soccer.

The Saprissa goals were the work of Ariel Rodríguez (12) and Esteban Rodríguez (27), putting the club at the gates of its 35th title.

If Saprissa wins the home-and-home series, it will earn the championship due to the team also having finished atop the regular-season table. If Alajuelense can dominate the return leg — it must win by three goals — it will force a “Gran Final” rematch between the two clubs.

The return leg is scheduled for Monday, at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in Tibás.

Wednesday’s match was originally scheduled for last Sunday, but it was postponed through an order from the country’s health authorities in view of the increase in positive coronavirus cases and the possibility of eventual celebrations that would have coincided with the reopening of restaurants and with the Father’s Day.

The match began at 8:30 p.m., half an hour later than usual, to ensure that nighttime vehicle restriction came into force during the game — an effort to reduce parties and other gatherings.

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