Venegas sends Sarprissa to ninth SCCL with win over CD Marathon

Johan Venegas scored a pair of goals to lead Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa to a 2-0 victory over CD Marathon of Honduras in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League quarterfinals on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

With the win, Saprissa have qualified for their ninth Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, while Marathon will look to make the most of their second opportunity in next week’s play-in match

Venegas now leads all players with six goals in the 2020 SCL and increased his lead atop the all-time SCL scoring chart with an astounding 13 goals in just 11 matches.

After scoring all four of Saprissa’s goals in their 4-1 win over Municipal of Guatemala in the Round of 16, Venegas picked up where he left off by handing the 2019 SCL champions a 1-0 lead in the 13’ when he headed in Marvin Angulo’s corner kick.

Marathon looked to respond and Allan Banegas fired a shot goalward in the 32’ that forced Saprissa GK Aaron Cruz into a fingertip save.

With every minute that passed, the tension increased with both sides vying for every single ball and Marathon still on the hunt for an equalizer. Mathias Techera nearly evened things up for the Honduran hosts in the 52’, only to see his header bounce off the crossbar.

Marathon would rue the mistake, as three minutes later in the 55’ on a Michael Barrantes-led counterattack for Saprissa, Venegas headed in his second goal of the night to extend the lead to 2-0.

From there, the Saprissa defense took over and nailed down the victory to take another step toward successfully defending their SCL title.