Liga Deportiva Alajuelense will face off against Saprissa for the Costa Rican football title, while Xelajú and Antigua will define the outcome in Guatemala after the closure of the semifinals on Sunday.
Despite Saprissa’s 1-0 victory over Alajuelense on Sunday with a goal from Argentinean Mariano Torres (8), they couldn’t win the series due to their 3-0 loss in the first leg on Thursday.
The Costa Rican Clausura tournament was divided into two phases, with Saprissa winning the first phase and earning the right to participate in the ‘grand final’ in the second phase in case they lose the final.
According to this rule, Alajuelense secured the second phase on Sunday, but to claim the championship, they must play two more matches in a home-and-away format.
On Thursday, Alajuela will host Saprissa at their Alejandro Morera Soto stadium.
Meanwhile, in Honduras, in the first leg of the final played at Juan Ramón Brevé stadium in Juticalpa, Olancho couldn’t take advantage of their home condition and drew 2-2 with Olimpia from the capital.
Omar Elvir scored at the 39th and 90+6th minute for Olancho, while Jerry Bengtson (50) and Jorge Daniel Álvarez (76) found the net for Olimpia.
The rematch will take place next Sunday at Chelato Uclés stadium in Tegucigalpa. On Sunday, the players from Olancho released white balloons in the air as a tribute to the twelve Salvadorans who tragically died on Saturday at the Cuscatlán stadium in San Salvador, victims of a stampede.
In Guatemala, Antigua secured their spot in the final by defeating Comunicaciones 3-2 in a penalty shootout at the Doroteo Flores capital stadium.
During regular time, both teams remained tied at 0-0, but in extra time, Antigua’s Azarías Londoño scored at the 104th minute, and the equalizer was netted by Argentinean Cristian Alexis Hernández at the 113th minute.
In the first leg on Thursday, both teams had a goalless draw in the colonial city of Antigua. Antigua’s goalkeeper, Braulio Linares, stood out by saving three penalties from the Comunicaciones players.
On Saturday, Xelajú defeated Gustatoya 2-1 at Mario Camposeco stadium in Quetzaltenango and advanced to the final.
Kenner Gutiérrez (7) scored a penalty and Juan Cardona found the net at the 50th minute for Xelajú, while Jorge Estuardo Vargas (70) scored Gustatoya’s only goal.
In the first leg on Wednesday, both teams had a 1-1 draw. Antigua and Xelajú will play the first leg of the final on Wednesday at Pensativo stadium.
In Panama, Club Atlético Independiente (CAI), the current champion, and Tauro, the most successful team in the country, will compete in the final of the Apertura tournament after eliminating Plaza Amador and Sporting de San Miguelito in the semifinals, respectively.
CAI defeated Sporting 3-1 in extra time in the second leg of the semifinals on Saturday. The first leg ended in a goalless draw.
On Friday, Tauro secured the first ticket to the final by defeating Sporting 2-1 as visitors in a match held at Los Andes Stadium, in the populous district of San Miguelito, adjacent to the Panamanian capital.
CAI, with four titles and the current champion, and Tauro, with 16 championships, will contest the final on May 27th at Rommel Fernández Stadium in Panama City.