Posted on August 29, 2012
ESTELI, Nicaragua – Alajuelense put itself in a better position to reach the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals as it recorded a 1-0 win over Real Esteli on Monday night.
Allen Guevara tallied the lone goal of the match in the 42nd minute of the Group 6 encounter.
The Costa Rican team dominated possession, had one goal disallowed and hit the crossbar.
The victory moved Alajuelense into a virtual tie with Tigres in its group with four points and left the Nicaragua side in last with no points. Two matches remain for each team as only the group winners will advance.
The win was only the second in five CL road matches for Alajuelense, but extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games, dating back to April.
Esteli lost for the consecutive time in the competition and for the fifth time in six matches. It has never won a game in the tournament.
Guevara gave Alajuelense all the scoring it needed three minutes to halftime. He stepped inside Eliud Zeledon, beating him to Cristopher Meneses’ cross. He then headed the ball home into the far-side netting.
The goal came after Anderson Adrade had his goal in the 22nd minute nullified due to an offside called and after Guevara crashed a right-footed drive from 25 yards off the crossbar in the 31st minute.
The Nicaraguan team also had a goal disallowed for offside in the 33rd minute — a header by Juan Barrera.
Real Esteli a little more possession in the second half, but the Costa Rican team came within a yard of adding to its lead when Andrade had two chances in quick succession – a header blocked by goalkeeper Juston Lorente and a toe poke on the rebound that was cleared off the line – four minutes into the second half.
Esteli had an opportunity to equalize in the second minute of second-half injury time when Norfran Lazo found space alone on the left side of the penalty area. But keeper Dexter Lewis stopped the low shot by going low to block the attempt with his feet.
Next on tap for Esteli will be a home game against Tigres on Sept. 18. Alajuelense will visit Esteli on Sept. 26.
Categories: Central America, Champions League, Costa Rica, Nicaragua
Tags: Alajuelense, Allen Guevara, CONCACAF Champions League, Cristopher Meneses, Eluid Zeledon, Norfran Lazo, Real Esteli