In a 0-0 draw at Dragon on August 25, 2016, Saprissa failed to score for the first time in its last six Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League matches. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Despite his team rising to first place in Group B, Saprissa head coach Carlos Watson expressed disappointment with a scoreless draw at Dragon on Thursday in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
The Monstruo Morado (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) took sole possession of first place over the idle Portland Timbers (1-0-0, 3). Only a week earlier, Saprissa earned a 6-0 win over visiting Dragon (0-0-3, 0), which is eliminated from contention
“It is a negative result for us because of the expectations that we have and very good for Dragon, who have given a great effort running, marking, teaming up, staying back, complicating things for us and counterattacking,´ said Watson after the encounter. “I feel like the opponent had enough merit to remain with this point.”
Three points would have positioned the Costa Rican power well ahead of two key matches against Portland, a 2-1 winner over Dragon at home in the group opener on August 3. The Timbers hold destiny in their own hands, knowing that they will finish first with three straight wins.
“We wanted to win,” Watson stressed. “I am going to be sincere and we aren’t going to deny that we wanted to win. We have not been able to play our football because, in part, of Dragón’s ability to close lines, take away our speed and, with it, any surprises. We wanted to win. Earning a point is not bad, but we came for more.”
Just like Portland, Saprissa can capture a quarterfinal berth with two wins over the U.S. champion.
“Saprissa depends on Saprissa,” concluded the 64-year-old Watson. “We depend on ourselves. We have to win at home. If the results come through for us at home, we can then see what could happen further ahead. Not depend on anyone is great because we can resolve things ourselves.”
Saprissa has won its last three SCCL matches at home by the combined score of 12-1.