Saprissa defeats Portland Timbers, Arabe Unido knocks out Monterrey
Saprissa beat the Portland Timbers 4-2 in their Group B match of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night.
Portland made a dream start to the game as Diego Valeri dribbled into the penalty area and snuck a quick-fire shot past Saprissa's Danny Carvajal in the fifth minute for an early 1-0 lead.
Timbers defender Jermaine Taylor cancelled out the opener in the 37th minute with an own goal to put the teams on level terms.
Ben Zemanski was whistled for a foul in the penalty area just before half-time and the referee pointed to the spot. Saprissa's Marvin Angulo stepped up and sent Portland's Jake Gleeson the wrong way to give the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break.
Fabricio Ronchetti added to the Costa Rican club's advantage in the 60th minute, slipping through the Portland defense and slotting home for a 3-1 lead.
Seven minutes later, Fanendo Adi cut into the hosts' lead, taking a Zarek Valentin cross and burying his left-footed shot from the centre of the box to make it 3-2.
As Portland was chasing the equalizer, Steven Taylor handled the ball in the penalty area and Saprissa were once more gifted a chance from the spot, which Angulo converted to double his goal tally and his team's lead at 4-2.
The loss complicates Portland's path out of the group stage, but Caleb Porter's team still have a good shot at catching Saprissa. First, they'll need to beat CD Dragon in El Salvador in two weeks' time and then will also likely need to beat the Costa Ricans on Oct. 18th in Portland due to an inferior goal differential.
Arabe Unido beat Monterrey in a 2-1 to send the Liga MX club packing from the competition at the group stage.
Joseph Cox and Jose Gonzalez scored either side of half-time to give the hosts a 2-0 lead and leave Monterrey searching for answers.
Cesar Montes pulled one back for the visitors, but they couldn't find the equalizer and suffered a first away loss in the CCL to a non-Mexican opponent in five years.
The win solidifies the Panamanian's spot atop Group D and will see them advance to the knockout phase.