PANAMA CITY, Panama – Aguila won the second-leg battle against Arabe Unido, but lost the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinal war.
The Salvadoran side earned a 1-0 victory over the host Expreso Azul – which played the last 46 minutes with 10 men following defender Roberto Chen’s ejection -- on Wednesday, but was eliminated 2-1 on aggregate.
Osvaldo Escudero, who was handed the Aguila managerial reins on August 14, praised for his players for adapting to a new playing style.
“The merit is of the players who grabbed ahold quickly of the idea of playing quick, simple football,” Escudero said after the game. “I’m happy that the players are getting the idea. The series was not lost today, it was lost in the first leg.”
The 56-year-old Argentinean pointed out that the final outcome could have been different if not for first-leg miscues that resulted in Arabe Unido winning 2-0 on a pair of Carlos Small goals.
“At home we committed errors that we did not commit today,” he remarked. “We were alert. It is a shame that we were unable to earn the 2-0 win, but the intention is there and that’s what makes me happy.”
Overall, the former Santa Tecla head coach believes that Aguila has the capacity to return to international football.
“The future of this team is promising,” finished Escudero. “It gives me a lot of hope that this team is going to play better. I did not have the fortune to work a lot on the field, but this team, when it works, is going to improve and I think we are going to be protagonists in the domestic league.”
On Sunday, Aguila let a 3-1 lead slip away in a 4-3 loss to host Dragon and dropped to 11th place in the 12-team Salvadoran Apertura with a 0W-3D-2L record.