CARTAGO, Costa Rica – Santos de Guapiles knows a tough test is to be expected Tuesday, when it visits Chorrillo FC for the first leg of their 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinal.
“I have already started the analysis of Chorrillo,” said Santos head coach Johnny Chaves after Sunday’s scoreless draw Sunday at Cartagines in the Costa Rican Invierno. “It is a physical team that plays a 4-4-2, that lets a lot of people loose in the middle, but also leaves space in between lines and we can take advantage of that.
“With strong teams like Chorrillo, you have to beat them with good positional play. You have to try to not run with them because they can beat you in the physical game.”
After posting a pair of wins of against Trinidad & Tobago’s San Jabloteh in the Round of 16 (6-2 home, 2-1 away), Chaves’ objective in Panama City is to make sure that the second leg remains meaningful.
“It is always important to close [a series] at home,” he surmised. “You have to emerge alive from the first match.”
Chaves anticipates once again to rotate his squad and will use some players who did not feature over the weekend.
“We know that you have to rotate,” concluded the 56-year-old. “In Trinidad & Tobago, we made four changes from the [Alajuelense] match. You have to take into account the travel and also the weather. Recuperation and rotation is important. It has to be a well thought out rotation to maintain the balance of the team.”