Arabe Unido confident of victory at Santos de Guapiles
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With four goals, Arabe Unido forward Carlos Small (blue jersey) is the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League’s joint-top scorer. (Photo: Israel Zapateiro)

PANAMA CITY, Panama – With half of a two-legged Scotiabank CONCACAF League final-four series against Santos de Guapiles in the books, Arabe Unido is optimistic about reaching its first international final.

Wednesday’s opener ended in a scoreless at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, but it could have been a win for host Arabe if Santos goalkeeper Bryan Morales did not make a spectacular save on Carlos Small’s 40th-minute penalty kick

“This is a match of 180 minutes, 90 minutes have passed and now it’s time to prepare ourselves for the return leg,” said Arabe Unido head coach Sergio Guzman, whose team has shutout at home for the second consecutive times in SCL play.  “We are going to Costa Rica to show another face and get a victory.”

The 47-year-old Colombian conceded that playing 14 total matches since July 14 in the Panamanian Apertura and SCL is starting to exact a physical toll on his squad.

 “It was hard for us.  We came in having played a lot of hard matches in the domestic league, but the team did everything to win,” Guzman finished.  “This was a match of give and take against a team that manages itself well line by line.

Arabe Unido will next host San Francisco on Sunday in the Liga Panameña de Fútbol, before visiting Santos on September 21.

 

 

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