Herediano to maintain squad rotation ahead of SCCL

Off to an unbeaten start in the 2016 Costa Rican Invierno, Herediano (pictured) is aiming for a second straight domestic title. (Photo courtesy of Herediano)

HEREDIA, Costa Rica – In a rematch of the 2016 Costa Rican Verano final, Herediano took sole possession of first place in the 2016 Invierno with a 2-1 win over visiting Alajuelense on Wednesday at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero.

The defending champion improved to 3W-1D-0L on the season and now sits two points ahead of fellow 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) participant Saprissa, which recorded a scoreless draw at home against Cartagines.

An unbeaten start has left head coach Hernan Medford excited about the quality of his squad, one in which he’ll continue to rotate in the lead up to the SCCL opener on August 4 at Panama’s Plaza Amador.

“How nice that my players are of that level,” said the former Costa Rica international. “They have to fight hard for their spots. When they come on, they have to extend themselves, which leaves me calm.

“We have players of a good level that we can rotate and we are going to keep rotating because you can imagine that we only have Thursday and Friday and we play Saturday. After that we have to get on a plane to play another hugely difficult match in Panama.”

Against Alajuelense, Victor Nunez broke a 1-1 deadlock with an 85th-minute goal. Jose Miguel Cubero gave the host Florenses a 1-0 lead just before halftime.

“Obviously, like all matches against Alajuela, it was a tough match,” Medford finished. “But in the end, we were worthy winners. I think the team played well. What had to be done was done. You have to give credit to the opponent. They also did things well, but I consider that our win was deserved.”

Herediano returns to action on Saturday, when it hosts Municipal Liberia.