T&T international defender Aubrey David and his Deportivo Saprissa took a giant step towards qualifying to the Costa Rican Premier Division “Clausura” final after hammering host CS Cartagines 4-0 in their first-leg semifinal on Sunday.
Playing alongside David Guzman in central defence at the Estadio Jose Rafael “Fello” Meza Ivankovich, Cartago, the 29-year-old Guyana-born David had a solid outing for the regular-season table-toppers as both teams went in goalless at the end of the first half.
Eighteen minutes into the second half, Michael Barrantes fired Saprissa ahead and two minutes later, Ariel Rodriguez doubled the advantage to 2-0.
Saprissa extended its lead in the 72nd minute through a strike from Christian Bolanos and then on the stroke of full-time Johan Venegas added a fourth item for the visitors to wrap up the home-and-away series ahead of the return match on Wednesday at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma, San Jose.
The win for Saprissa ended a winless run of four matches for Saprissa to end the regular season, which included three straight 2-all draws against CD Alajuelense, ADR Jicaral Sercoba and Municipal before going down the bottom-placed team La U Universitarios, 0-2.
It was also the third win in as many meetings for Saprissa over Cartagines this season, having won their league meetings 2-1 on January 19 and 3-1, March 7.
Should Saprissa complete the home-and-away semifinal series win tomorrow, it will qualify straight to the “Big-Final” against the winner of the other series between Apertura champion CS Herediano and runner-up LD Alajuelense.
However, if Saprissa loses in the semifinal playoffs, the two semifinal winners will then meet in a ‘Small-Final’ with the winner to meet regular-season table-topper Saprissa in the “Big Final” to determine the overall champion of the Clausura.
In Sunday's other first-leg semifinal, Alajuelense blanked CS Herediano, 2-0 with goals from Alexander Lopez in the 30th minute, and Ariel Lassiter, 11 minutes from full-time.
Another T&T international in action last weekend was Israel-based winger Levi Garcia who also played all but the final minute for Beitar Jerusalem before being replaced by Liran Rotman in a 0-0 draw with Maccabi Haifa.
With the draw, Beitar Jerusalem remained third on the table with 52 points from 30 matches, eight behind Maccabi Haifa while Maccabi Tel Aviv leads with 71 points and a match in hand.
Up next for the 22-year-old Garcia and his team-mates is a clash with Hapoel Haifa tomorrow.