World Cup star Bryan Ruiz opened scoring in the 2-1 victory of his Alajuelense against Herediano during the third match day of the 2020 Apertura Championship of Costa Rican soccer.
In his first game as a starter and in the second since his return to the country, Ruiz — who played at the 2014 and 2018 Men’s World Cups — scored at 54 minutes. It marked the first club goal for the former Santos (Brazil) player in more than 14 years.
Jonathan Moya made it 2-0 (64th minute), and Jonathan McDonald scored on a penalty kick to make things nervy for Alajuelense in the final minutes.
The rojinegra victory this Saturday, in the oldest rivalry in Costa Rica (which has been played since 1921), calmed the spirits of Alajuelense after a week full of rumors about the possible departure of manager Argentine Andrés Carevic.
Meanwhile, the Cartaginés has not yet made its debut in the tournament due to a quarantine — which only just ended — resulting in three positive coronavirus tests. Its rival for last weekend, reigning champion Saprissa, also remains in isolation two players have tested positive. The morados will play again September 13.
The lopsided schedules make for unbalanced tables. Alajuelense leads group A with six points; Herediano, Guadalupe and Grecia each have four. In Group B, San Carlos and Sporting have four points, while Saprissa has two games in hand.
Limón FC, the only Group B club to have played three games, is in fourth place with two points.