MIAMI, Florida – Fans across the Concacaf region were treated to a thrilling slate of four matches to open the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League quarterfinals in which several players enjoyed notable performances.
While they may have conceded three goals in a 3-2 loss at Deportivo Saprissa, it might have been worse for Panama’s Club Atletico Independiente if not for the heroic goalkeeping of Jose Guerra.
On top of registering eight saves, the CAI GK also made three crucial clearances to keep his side in the match and leave things wide open heading into next week’s return leg.
One would be hard-pressed to find a finer defensive performance than the one delivered by Ever Alvarado on Thursday night. The Olimpia DF scored, had two steals and completed all of his passes in a commanding 2-0 win over Comunicaciones.
Not to be outdone was Motagua DF Marcelo Pereira, whose goal, steal and 93% passing completion rate was a big reason why the Hondurans took home a 2-0 win against Jamaica’s Waterhouse.
Whether it is for club or country, El Salvador and Alianza MF Marvin Monterroza always seems to be in the mix and Thursday’s 2-0 win over San Carlos was no different. The team captain scored with a scorching right-footed shot and then contributed at the defensive end with four steals.
Alianza teammate Raul Penaranda was just as affective, scoring a goal and adding an assist all while posting a perfect passing completion rate.
Up top, there was no bigger star than Saprissa FW Johan Venegas. The Tico dangerman notched a hat trick in Saprissa’s 3-2 win against CAI and now leads the competition with five goals.
Even in defeat, CAI’s Jorman Aguilar was one of the week’s best, with a goal, a steal and 88% passing accuracy in helping the Panamanians rally from a two-goal deficit before eventually succumbing late on Venegas’ third score of the evening.
With so many top performances delivered in the first week of the SCL quarterfinals, there are sure to be many more next week in the second legs.