Ugalde brace powers Saprissa past Belmopan Bandits
Action between Belmopan Bandits (green and yellow uniform) and Deportivo Saprissa in the first leg of the preliminary round of the Scotiabank Concacaf League on July 31, 2019, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Belize.
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BELMOPAN, Belize – 17-year-old FW Manfred Ugalde bagged a brace to lead Costa Rica’s Saprissa past Belmopan Bandits of Belize 3-1 in the first leg of their 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League Preliminary Round series on Wednesday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Belize.

Saprissa enjoyed a quick start out of the gates with a goal in the 13’ with Ugalde polishing off a nice team build-up to hand the visitors a 1-0 lead.

But Bandits would hang tough and just minutes after coming on as a first half substitute, MF Jefrie James brought the home side level 1-1 with a sizzling right-footed strike from outside the area.

Saprissa would regain the lead when a Randall Leal cross was handled in the area, resulting in a penalty, and Johan Venegas stepped up and converted the spot kick to make it a 2-1 Saprissa lead.

The Tico outfit would then stretch their advantage to 3-1 moments before the break thanks to Ugalde’s sweeping right-footed shot to finish off a counterattack.

Belmopan’s Hector Martinez was unlucky not have pulled one back early in the second half when his shot rang off the post, but it would be Bandits’ last good look at a goal, as the Monstruo Morado saw things out to collect the victory.

Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits v Saprissa | July 31/ 2019
Belmopan Bandits 0 - 1 Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits 1 - 1 Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits 1 - 2 Saprissa
Belmopan Bandits 1 - 3 Saprissa