Game: Fútbol Club Motagua vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Wednesday, February 21st
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: H-E-B Park (Edinburg, Tex.)
Referees: REF: Henry Bejarano (CRC); AR1: Osvaldo Luna (CRC); AR2: Kevin Stephens (GUY); 4th: Juan Gabriel Calderon (CRC)
#SCCL2018 resumes as @MOTAGUAcom clashes against @xolosoficial in the first leg of the Round of 16 on Wednesday, February 21 at 10 PM ET.— THE CHAMPIONS (@TheChampions) February 17, 2018
Vuelve la #SCCL2018 con el enfrentamiento entre FC Motagua y Club Tijuana el miércoles 21 de Febrero a las 10 PM ET! pic.twitter.com/DucYQNCPs8
Club Tijuana heads to South Texas to face Honduran side FC Motagua in the first round of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. The match is being held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas due to the political unrest in Honduras.
Motagua makes the CONCACAF Champions League by virtue of winning the Honduran Liga Nacional 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura tournament. They have been to the CCL three times under the current format, never advancing past the group stage. Over their history they’ve been involved in fifteen prior CCL tournaments, making it to the quarterfinals in 2008 where they lost to eventual winners Pachuca.
Motagua come in having not lost a match since last year, winning seven and drawing three since their last loss on December 27. Center forward Rubilio Castillo leads the team with eighteen goals, and Motagua will most likely look to play their best eleven which includes Honduras national team members Eddie Hernández, Henry Figueroa, and Félix Crisanto.
Tijuana makes it by virtue of being the Superlider during the 2017 Liga MX Clausura and has appeared in the CONCACAF Champions League only once before, back in the 2013-14 tournament. They won their group stage over El Salvadoran side Luis Ángel Firpo and Honduran side Victoria and defeated the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions Cruz Azul in the semifinals.
Look for Xolos to mostly play their backup players and guys that have been getting minutes with the U20s. Players like Rubio Rubin, Fernando Arce, Jr., Hiram Muñoz, and Luis “Quick” Mendoza will most likely get a chance to get some meaningful minutes and prove to manager Diego Cocca why they should get even more minutes during Liga MX play.