San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Saprissa Ties in Texas, Looks To Win at Home

Deportivo Saprissa weathered a strong second half showing from Houston Dynamo to secure a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champion’s Cup on Wednesday night.

The Costa Rican side will be happy with the result in the Dynamo’s home Robertson Stadium in Texas. The second leg will be played at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in Tibás, north of San José, at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

“This is a great result away from home,” said Saprissa coach Jeaustin Campos on the club’s Web site. “Dynamo is a very strong team, they are organized and play good soccer, but now we are just 90 minutes way from the grand final. We still haven’t won anything, but we have taken a big step forward.

Now we have to finish the job in the home leg, in front of our fans.”

“El Monstruo Morado,” as Saprissa is known, showed determination in holding the back-to-back MLS Cup Champions at bay, with goalkeeper Keylor Navas highly impressive. Dynamo looked particularly dangerous when crossing from out wide, and star player Brian Ching was a constant threat, but time and again the men in orange wasted good chances, none better than Ching’s injury time header, which shaved the woodwork right at the death.

Both sides still have everything to play for in the second leg, where Saprissa will be continuing their hunt for a fourth CONCACAF title, having won the competition in 1993, 1995 and 2005. The winner of the competition will also be invited to the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.

In the other semifinal, home side Pachuca CF of Mexico overcame D.C. United of the United States thanks to two second-half goals from substitute Luis Montes. The return leg will be played at the RFK Stadium in WashingtonD.C. on Wednesday.


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