Arturo Stolli (Creative Commons)
A 1-0 win over Real Esteli has Alajuelense a draw in their group stage finale away from the quarterfinals
Alajuelense won't be too pleased with their play on Wednesday, but they will be ecstatic about the result. They prevailed over Real Esteli 1-0 thanks to an Alvaro Sanchez penalty kick, which puts them top of Group 6 heading into the final match day.
With the win, Alajuelense are on seven points, two clear of Tigres UANL. The two sides will clash on October 24 in Mexico, where the Costa Ricans will just need a draw to advance to the quarterfinals.
While they did not play well, Alajuelense were still the better team. They had most of the possession in the first half, even if they struggled to turn that into chances. They only had one great opportunity, but that one struck the post.
Alajuelense finally went in front in the 49th minute when Sanchez scored from the spot. Minutes after the referee waved off a Alajuelense penalty appeal, Anderson Andreade was taken down by Eliud Zeledon on the edge of the box and the referee gave it, leaving Sanchez to convert for the Alajuelense win.