Forward Rolando Blackburn (pictured) has three goals in six 2016 Costa Rican Invierno matches for Saprissa. (Photo courtesy of Deportivo Saprissa)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Saprissa will be looking to carry red-hot domestic form into international play on Thursday, when it welcomes El Salvador’s Dragon to the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa for Group B encounter in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
The Monstruo Morado remained unbeaten after eight games (6-2-0, 20 pts.) in the 2016 Costa Rican Invierno following Sunday’s 2-1 win over rival Alajuelense, giving it a three-point advantage over second-place Herediano. Rolando Blackburn and Daniel Colindres netted the goals in an effort that saw Saprissa concede for the first time in seven outings.
“It is very simple, it gives us confidence,” said Saprissa head coach Carlos Watson about his team’s current four-match winning streak. “It gives more solidity to the team. Our defense was put to the test. We will continue to analyze the good things, but also what we did not do well. Winning gives confidence to everyone.
With the international portion of the schedule about to commence, Watson believes that Saprissa is well prepared to battle on two fronts thanks to a strong preseason regimen.
“Our work during the preseason is what you are seeing now,” the 64-year-old finished. “It’s true that we did not leave the country during preseason, but we weren’t just folding our arms and we are showing it.”
In its SCCL opener on August 3, Dragon dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to the Portland Timbers on Diego Valeri’s 90th minute goal. It occupies last place in the 2016 Salvadoran Apertura after four rounds and is the only side without a victory.