SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Santos de Guapiles enjoyed a successful debut in continental competition, recording a 6-2 win over visiting San Juan Jabloteh in the first leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF League Round of 16 series at the Estadio Saprissa on Tuesday night.
Only four minutes into the match, Santos grabbed a 1-0 lead after Jabloteh’s Akeem Benjamin fouled Starling Matarrita in the penalty area. Midfielder Kenny Cunningham, who scored one goal in four career Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League matches, converted the ensuing penalty kick to the lower left of goalkeeper Shemel Louison.
Matarrita doubled the advantage in the 31st minute, connecting from 10-yards out, before Youstin Salas closed out the first-half scoring with a shot from the edge of the penalty arc to the far right post for a 3-0 cushion.
Keithy Simpson pulled one back for the visitor in the 50th minute, heading home Adrian Reid's right-wing cross past goalkeeper Bryan Morales.
Eight minutes later, captain Edder Monguio headed in Wilmer Azofeifa's corner kick to restore Santos' three-goal margin. Second-half substitute Osvaldo Rodriguez made it 5-1 in the 72nd minute with an effort from 28 yards.
Defender Juan Diego Madrigal's 78th-minute penalty kick made it six for Santos after Louison took down Leonardo Adams in the box.
San Juan’s Nathan Lewis closed out the scoring, slotting home from six yards in the 89th minute.
The teams will meet in the second leg in Trinidad & Tobago on August 8.