MIAMI, Florida – This Friday, Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica will lock horns with Haitian side Arcahaie FC in the semifinals of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League in what will be the first ever meeting between the two teams.
Each club took a very interesting path to reach the final four of the tournament.
Arcahaie’s journey in the SCL was originally scheduled to start in the Preliminary Round, however, their opponent, Verdes FC of Belize, withdrew from the tournament and Arcahaie was awarded a 3-0 walkover win.
The Haitian side was finally able to take the field in the Round of 16 when they traveled to Kingston to face Jamaican side Waterhouse in a battle of Caribbean clubs.
The visitors could not have had a better start, as Richkard Calixte, Wendy Louis-Jean and Johnny Pierre Paul all scored to help secure a 3-1 win.
Victory in Jamaica set the stage for a quarterfinal showdown with reigning Canadian Premier League champions Forge FC played in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with the winner qualifying for the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
Arcahaie started the second half staring at a 1-0 deficit, but found an equalizer through Kervens Jolicoeur to force a 1-1 draw and a penalty shootout. GK Guerry Romondt would rise to the fore by stopping two penalties to give Arcahaie a 4-2 shootout win, punching the club’s ticket to their first ever SCCL.
Reigning SCL champions Saprissa started their 2020 SCL campaign at home in the Round of 16 against Guatemala’s Municipal in what turned out to be a historic performance from FW Johan Venegas.
After falling behind early 1-0, the Monstruo Morado struck for four unanswered goals, all from Venegas, for a 4-1 victory. Venegas set a record by becoming the first player in SCL history to score four goals in a match.
A round later in the quarterfinals on the road at Marathon of Honduras, Venegas once again displayed his goal-scoring prowess by scoring a goal in each half to hand Saprissa a 2-0 win that earned the Ticos a place in the 2021 SCCL.
While the paths of these two semifinalists might have differed, they both have shown brilliance and resilience throughout the tournament to reach this elite stage.