América drew 1-1 with Saprissa in the second leg of their 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Round of Sixteen series, which was more than enough to put the Águilas into the quarterfinals with a 6-2 aggregate win.
The Costa Ricans were facing an uphill battle to get back into this series after a 5-1 loss in the first leg, and América gave them no time to do so: the Águilas opened the second-leg scoring in just the first minute of the game.
Carlos Darwin Quintero got on the scoresheet for the first time since October as his shot from distance made it 1-0 (6-1) for América just 53 seconds after kickoff.
América had put out a team with several changes, with this series essentially already decided and with the SuperClásico looming in league play this weekend. Nevertheless, they enjoyed 64% of possession throughout the game.
Saprissa tried to reduce the deficit with shots from mid- and long-range, but goalkeeper Óscar Jiménez was able to keep them out – at least until the second half. In the 53rd minute, Mariano Torres made it 1-1 (6-2) with his shot from outside the box.
That goal lifted Saprissa’s spirits somewhat, but the deficit was still far too large for the visitors to overcome.
With the 1-1 draw (6-2 aggregate win), América advances to the quarterfinals while Saprissa is eliminated.
América: Óscar Jiménez, Emmanuel Aguilera, Bruno Valdez, Joe Corona, Carlos Vargas, Carlos Orrantia, Carlos Darwin Quintero, Oribe Peralta (Andrés Ibargüen 45′), Cecilio Domínguez (Jérémy Ménez 73′), Mateus Uribe, Henry Martín (Pedro Arce 84′).
Saprissa: Kevin Briceño, Michael Barrantes, Heiner Mora, Henrique, Joseph Mora, Jordan Smith, Mariano Torres, Jaylon Hadden (Cristian Martínez 84′), Daniel Colindres, Johan Venegas (Christian Bolaños 63′), Ariel Rodríguez (Jerry Bengtson 73′).