Costa Rica News – After the first leg of the Costa Rica soccer championship, Cartago (Club Sport Cartaginés Deportiva) looked prime to win it’s first championship since 1940 and break the Cartago curse after destroying Heredia (Club Sport Herediano Deportiva) 3 to 1 on its home turf.
For all of you who do not know what the curse of the Cartago soccer team is this might help. It has been 73 years since the oldest club soccer team in Costa Rica has won a title.
Ever since that championship, Cartaginés has been unable to win any league titles in Costa Rica, something which some believe to be the result of a curse set on the team by the priest at the Basílica de Los Ángles when 1940 players stormed the Basilica ridding on top of their horses, celebrating their championship; many others credit the lack of titles to the curse of “el muñeco”, a strange voodoo-like doll that was supposedly buried under Cartaginés’ turf at the “Fello Meza” stadium in order to prevent them from winning further titles and bringing bad luck to the club. Many supporters of the club believe that unless someone finds the “magical” doll Cartago will continue to struggle and not win any more championships.
Two goals from Victor Nunez in regulation tied the aggregate score at 3-3 and the game was sent into extra time.
However, the regular time was not marked without controversy.
The Argentine Ismael Gomez centered the ball and Ruiz headed into the penalty area. Nunez fell and the referee awarded a penalty kick and red carded the Carthago defender Jose Villalobos.
The penalty kick was converted and the Heredia team started attacking the man down Caratago team.
This relentless attack paid off in the 52nd minute when Yosimar Arias sent a pass over the defense and then Nunez’ shot eluded goalkeeper Luis Torres to make the core 2 to 0.
Heredia continued on the attack but goal keeper Luis Torres of Cartago played an incredible game keeping the game at 2 to 0 and sending it into overtime.
In overtime Heredia truck first in the 100th minute when Ruiz’s header got past Torres to make the score 3-0 Heredia. Heredia was close to taking the crown when in the 109th minute a ball was sent into the Heredia box and Leonel Moreira pushed it into the goal. After 2 full matches and 2 full overtimes the aggregate score was 4 to 4 sending it into penalties.
In penalties Heredia hit all 5 of their shots but Randall Alvarado of Cartago’s shot was blocked by the Heredia goalie on a great one handed save that pushed the shot wide.
Congrats Heredia on a well fought championship……..for Cartago the cruse continues. Someone better start digging up that field to find that voodoo doll.