Abreu earns praise for role in Santa Tecla title

Sebastian Abreu (upper middle) and his Santa Tecla teammates celebrate after defeating Alianza in the Salvadoran Apertura final on December 18, 2016, in San Salvador. 

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Santa Tecla took home league honors in El Salvador on Sunday, outlasting Alianza, 3-2, in the 2016 Apertura final at the Estadio Cuscatlan.

The second-time champion was trailing 2-1 with 12 minutes remaining on the clock, but 40-year-old forward Sebastain Abreu settled matters with the a pair of headers; the game-winner coming in the first minute of stoppage time.

Abreu – a former Uruguay international -- finished the playoffs with five goals in three games to earn the praise of head coach Ernesto Corti.

“We knew that they (Alianza) had problems on aerial balls and Abreu appeared when he had to do it,” said Corti. “He is a player that has had an important career in football and that means a lot.”

Winger Gerson Mayen, who gave Santa Tecla 1-0 lead in first-half stoppage time, said that Abreu’s experience was a huge asset to the club.

“We are a young team that gained experience during the last two years,” expressed the 27-year-old Mayen. “Thanks to God, we were granted the title again, but the contribution of Abreu was also important.”

While it was an anxious 90 minutes for Corti, the Argentinean manager always believed his team would prevail.

“I experienced the match with many nerves, but having confidence in the team that we could come back and we achieved it,” he finished. “In the first half, we had good control of the match. The second was a more difficult, but we were left happy.”

By virtue of being crowned champion, Santa Tecla also earned a place in the 2017/18 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, its second-ever berth in the competition, with the first coming in the 2015/16 edition.