Arabe Unido (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting FC Dallas in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on March 1, 2017, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Mexsport)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – Despite bidding farewell to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, Arabe Unido has good reason to feel optimistic.
The Expreso Azul was eliminated at the quarterfinal stage by FC Dallas, 5-2 on aggregate, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
A 2-1 comeback victory in Wednesday’s second leg was a return to the foundation that carried Arabe Unido to the 2016 Panamanian Apertura title and the top spot in the SCCL Group D.
“I’m left with the work, the back and forth of the team, the desire and the attitude that they had,” head coach Sergio Guzman said after the game. “They brought out an Arabe that are warriors on the playing field. With the work they have been doing, they made it count today and it showed against a great team like FC Dallas.”
Arabe Unido had conceded nine goals in its previous two matches – a 5-3 defeat to Tauro in the Panamanian Clausura and last week’s 4-0 quarterfinal, first leg loss to FCD – but a significantly improved defensive display claimed a first-ever triumph in the SCCL quarterfinals.
The 15-time Panamanian champion, which sits seventh in the domestic table on seven points, returns to action on Saturday at Alianza.