Colindres stars as Saprissa wins playoff opener

Daniel Colindres (pictured) played a key role in Saprissa's win over Santos in a Costa Rican playoff match on November 27, 2016. (Photo: Mexsport)

CARTAGO, Costa Rica – Saprissa (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) is off to a flying start in the 2016 Costa Rican Invierno Quadrangular thanks to Sunday’s 3-0 win over host Santos (0-0-2, 0) at the Estadio Jose Rafael "Fello" Meza.

The Monstruo Morado got goals from Roy Miller and Marvin Angulo in first-half stoppage time to take a 2-0 lead, while Rolando Blackburn completed the scoreline in the 69th minute.

Herediano (1W-1D-0L, 4) sits first in the standings, but Saprissa and Alajuelense (0-1-0, 1) – which will meet on Thursday – each have of a game in hand.

Saprissa head coach Carlos Watson praised his team for staying strong in a first half that saw Santos enjoy the bulk of play.

“Today’s start was not easy,” said the 65-year-old, whose team played for the first time in two weeks. “We were susceptible and that is understandable. The opponent was difficult to start with. They closed down spaces. I think that we played an extraordinary first half although in the eyes of the fans it was not like that.”

Watson also hailed the catalytic efforts of Daniel Colindres, a 31-year-old forward playing an influential in the attack.

“He was the key figure,” Watson finished. “He was magnificent and was the best in one-on-ones. Over the course of the season he has been hugely important in the team.”

Saprissa is currently riding a six-game winning streak.