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Alajuelense hangs on to beat Saprissa, win CONCACAF League

February 3, 2021

In a clásico that lived up to its billing, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense survived a late scare to beat Saprissa, 3-2, and win the 2021 CONCACAF League.

After Saprissa took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, Alajuelense scored three straight to claim a seemingly commanding lead by midway through the second half.

Marvin Angulo’s screamer drew Saprissa closer in the 87th minute, but the comeback effort fell short.

It was a fast-paced, energetic final full of exciting goals. Watch them all below:

Christian Bolaños opens scoring for Saprissa:

Alajuelense ties the match later in the first half:

A Yurguin Roman golazo flips the scoreline in favor of Alajuelense:

The rojinegros score their third:

Marvin Angulo brings Saprissa close, but it’s too late:

The CONCACAF League is the second-tier club tournament for North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Alajuelense are the new champions, while Saprissa won in 2020 and Club Sport Herediano earned the 2018 title.

The best performers from the CONCACAF League advance to the top-tier Champions League.

Saprissa were the last non-Mexican winners of that competition in 2005, while only two teams from MLS — Los Angeles Galaxy in 2000 and D.C. United in 1998 — have lifted the title.

Under the current format (2008-present), both Saprissa and Alajuelense have reached the semifinals.

The 2021 Champions League will begin in April and feature the following clubs:

Canada: Forge FC or Toronto FC
Costa Rica: Deportivo Saprissa and LD Alajuelense
Dominican Republic: Club Atletico Pantoja
Haiti: Arcahaie FC
Honduras: CD Marathon and CD Olimpia
Mexico: Club América, Club León, Cruz Azul and CF Monterrey
Nicaragua: Real Estelí FC
USA: Atlanta United FC, Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers

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