TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Herediano is the champion of the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League after earning a 3-2 victory on aggregate over Motagua of Honduras.
Despite a 2-1 defeat to the Hondurans in the final second leg on Thursday night at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino in Tegucigalpa, the Costa Ricans qualified for the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League on the strength of last week’s 2-0 first leg win and a late goal from Jimmy Marin on Thursday night, tipping the balance of the tie in favor of the Ticos.
It is the first Concacaf title in the 97-year history of Herediano and the ninth time that the club has qualified for the SCCL.
Staring a 2-0 deficit, Motagua took an aggressive approach from the start, but it had to wait until the final minute of the first half before it was able to breach the Herediano defense.
Kevin Lopez made a lung-busting run down the right wing before crossing for Rubilio Castillo, who headed in from a few yards to cut Herediano’s aggregate lead to 2-1.
Motagua had all the momentum and it took full advantage by tallying it second of the night in the 58’. Matias Galvaliz played a slick pass into Castillo, who finished with aplomb to pull the Catrachos level in the tie, 2-2.
With everything wide open and a half-hour to play, both teams searched for a score and Herediano would find the late decisive goal in the 85’ thanks to some brilliant playmaking between Marin and Jose Guillermo Ortiz.
Marin floated a pass into Ortiz, who collected the ball and played a perfect backheel pass for the charging Marin to latch onto and score to give Herediano the dramatic 3-2 victory on aggregate.