SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Santos de Guapiles became the first team to earn a spot in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League semifinals with a 1-0 win over visiting Chorrillo FC on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nacional, capturing the series, 2-0 on aggregate.
Starling Matarrita netted the game’s only goal in the 19th minute. The play was initiated by Osvaldo Rodriguez, who launched a superb long ball diagonally from the left side of Santos’ own end to Kenny Cunningham. Without losing stride, the 32-year-old midfielder burst into the right side of the box and squared a pass as goalkeeper Miguel Vargas came out of the net. Matarrita was there to volley in brilliantly with his right foot from the edge of the six-yard box.
It was a game of very few chances, but Santos goalkeeper Alejandro Gomez preserved the shutout in the 48th minute. Chorrillo’s Luis Hurtado muscled into the right side of the box and unleashed a right-footed shot from five-yards out. Before the ball could sneak inside the near post, Gomez got down to make the block.
Santos improved to a perfect 4W-0D-0L in the competition, while Chorrillo exits at 2-0-2, conceding only twice in four matches.