HEREDIA, Costa Rica–Herediano took a big step toward reaching its first ever Concacaf final with a 2-0 victory over Arabe Unido in the first leg of the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League semifinals on Thursday night at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, Costa Rica.
With new head coach Paulo Wanchope watching from the stands due to suspension, Herediano sporting director Jafet Soto handled coaching duties on the bench.
Following the contest in a post-match press conference, Soto reemphasized that the Costa Rican club is focused on making history in the SCL.
“Our priority is the Concacaf League,” said Soto. “We are going to support that idea in the decisions that are taken in Sunday’s game [versus UCR]. We are on the doorstep of achieving a title that we have not achieved in 97 years and that is our priority, no doubt,” added Soto.
While Herediano got off to a good start thanks to Yendrick Ruiz’s first half penalty conversion, Arabe Unido proved a formidable foe, especially in the second half.
However, Soto could see that the influence of Wanchope is already being felt within the squad and hailed the team for finding another goal through Ruiz in the waning moments.
“I think that it was a very hard-fought game, with great intensity. We had good intensity in the first half, you could see Paulo Wanchope’s style. In the second half I have to say that we faced a good team. Both of us fought for control of the ball. In the end I feel that the scoreline is fair, but also that they had their scoring chances at the start,” concluded Soto.