Arabe Unido offense looks to get on track vs. strong Santos defense
With four goals, Arabe Unido’s Carlos Small (pictured) is the joint-top scorer in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League. (Photo: Israel Zapateiro)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Despite its experience in international competitions and Santos de Guapiles’ relative lack of it, visiting Arabe Unido is showing no signs of overconfidence ahead of their meeting Thursday in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League semifinal, second leg.

They battled to a scoreless draw in last week’s opener in Panama City.

“We take on a Santos de Guapiles strong in defense, with quick transitions from midfield,” said Arabe head coach Sergio Guzman.  “Up front, they are lethal and now, in these short hours before the game, hoping that it’s a good match and that we do our job.”

Interestingly, in SCL play, Arabe’s results have been better on the road than it home.  In three matches at home, the Panamanian power is 1-1-1 (3GF, 1GA), while posting an away mark of 2-0-0 (4GF, 1 GA).

“We are aware that we have to play a great game there and we hope to be up for the commitment and get a win,” midfielder Nelson Barahona commented.

The Expreso Azul has been shutout in its last two SCL outings, so devising a way to find the back of the net is essential, especially if the match ends in a score draw.  Santos’ defense, though, has posted three consecutive shutouts.

“We know that the opponent plays well, that they defend in a good way, but we are going to counter that and do damage to them,” concluded Barahona.