MIAMI – Opening matches in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL) semifinals are complete, but before next week’s second-leg encounters, the final-four contenders have domestic league commitments.
CONCACAF.com looks at the weekend action:
2017 SCOTIABANK CONCACAF LEAGUE
Semifinal, First Leg Results
13.09.17 Arabe Unido 0, Santos de Guapiles 0
14.09.17 Plaza Amador 1, Olimpia 7
ARABE UNIDO (Panama)
Next 2017 Panamanian Apertura match: Sunday, September 17, away v San Francisco
Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, Second Leg): Thursday, September 21, away v Santos de Guapiles
Unbeaten Arabe Unido (5W-4D-0L, 19 points) currently sits in the Panamanian Apertura standings, trailing fellow SCL semifinalist Plaza Amador only on goals scored (13-14). The Expreso Azul is coming off a two straight scoreless draws (Apertura: away v Tauro on Sept. 9; SCL: home v Santos de Guapiles on Sept. 13). Host San Francisco (3-2-4, 11) is winless in its last two outings after posting two consecutive wins.
Next 2017 Honduran Apertura match: Sunday, September 17, away v Marathon
Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, Second Leg): Thursday, September 21, home v Plaza Amador
After opening the Honduran Apertura with two straight wins, Olimpia (2-2-1, 8) is winless in its last three outings and currently occupies 4th place, sitting five points behind first-place Real España. Veteran forward Carlo Costly has been red hot for the Leones, scoring in last week’s 1-1 domestic draw at Motagua and netting in Thursday’s 7-1 win at Plaza Amador in the SCL semifinals, before being ejected just before halftime. Marathon, which has lost three consecutive matches, is next on Sunday.
PLAZA AMADOR (Panama)
Next 2017 Panamanian Apertura match: Sunday, September 17, away v Chorrillo FC
Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, Second Leg): Thursday, September 21, away v Olimpia
Plaza Amador (5W-4D-0L, 19 points) has the slimmest of advantages atop the Apertura table, leading fellow SCL semifinalist Arabe Unido by virtue of more goals scored (14-13). In their last domestic outing on September 9, the Leones and San Francisco played to a 1-1 stalemate. Jose Murillo (49’) gave Plaza a 1-0 lead four minutes into the second half with his league-best fifth goal of the season, but Eric Vasquez (65’) leveled 16 minutes later. A meeting with third-place Chorrillo FC will motivate Plaza to rebound quickly following a 1-7 loss to visiting Olimpia in the first leg of their 2017 SCL semifinal series.
SANTOS DE GUAPILES (Costa Rica)
Next 2017 Costa Rican Invierno match: Sunday, September 17, away v UCR
Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, Second Leg): Thursday, September 21, home v Arabe Unido
A winless streak that was extended to four games last week has kept seventh-place Santos de Guapiles (2W-4D-2L, 10 points) just below the top half of the Invierno table. Wednesday’s goalless SCL semifinal, first-leg stalemate at Arabe Unido was preceded by a 1-1 draw with host Carmelita in domestic play as Reimond Salas (11’) scored the only goal for the visitor. Santos’ will next face a UCR side that has only win in eight games (1-3-4, 5) this season.