SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Johan Venegas scored a hat trick to lead Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa past Club Atletico Independiente of Panama, 3-2, in the first leg of the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League quarterfinals on Tuesday night at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Saprissa could not have asked for a better start and took a 1-0 lead in the 17’ when Venegas thumped in a header off a cross from Marvin Angulo.
Venegas added a second before halftime when a corner kick was not cleared and he steered a shot in for a 2-0 advantage.
Things went CAI’s way in the second half, however, as a defensive error from Saprissa allowed Jorman Aguilar to sweep into an open net, cutting the lead to 2-1 in the 48’.
The momentum was with CAI and the Panamanians struck for a second in the 61’ thanks to a fantastic solo effort from Omar Browne, who rocketed a shot into the roof of net to square the match at 2-2.
But a late surge from the hosts saw Randall Leal fouled in the area and Venegas stepped up and calmly converted the spot kick in stoppage time for his fifth goal of the competition and the 3-2 victory.