PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Osvaldo Rodriguez scored late in the first half to lift Santos de Guapiles to a 1-0 victory over host Chorrillo FC in the first leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinal series at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez on Tuesday night.
Santos combined a defense that bent -- but never snapped -- with solid goalkeeping by Brayan Morales to register its third straight win in the competition. Morales' most memorable save came in the 72nd minute, when he dove to his right to deny an Oscar Villarreal attempt.
After withstanding Chorrillo’s offensive forays for much of the opening half, Santos tallied against the run of play in the 40th minute off Wilmer Azoffeifa's corner kick. The Panamanian side cleared the attempt to Rodriquez, who fired a 22-yard shot that deflected off a Chorrrillo defender and past goalkeeper Miguel Vargas into the net.
Chorrillo, which posted a pair of 1-0 shutouts against Honduras Progreso in the Round of 16, surrendered a goal for the first time in the tournament.
The Fiebre Amarilla had one last chance to level four minutes into second-half stoppage time as Luis Rojas sent a long ball from the back into the box that captain Alfredo Stephens headed wide right.
The teams will meet in the second leg in Costa Rica on August 22 at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Tibas, San Jose, Costa Rica.