Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Fútbol Club Motagua
Date: Tuesday, February 27th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
There’s rarely a CONCACAF Champions League match that goes off without a hitch, and last week’s opening match between FC Motagua and Club Tijuana was no exception. The match was initially moved to H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas due to political unrest in Honduras, and then the match was suspended for almost an hour when a strong storm rolled through and knocked out power to the stadium. The match ended 1-0 in favor of Tijuana, as Xolos were able to pick up the ever important away goal in the home and home series thanks to Ignacio Rivero.
Now the teams will head to Tijuana, with the winner advancing to face the winner of the Olimpia - New York Red Bulls series (the clubs drew 1-1 in Costa Rica last week). Xolos manager Diego Cocca has said that Xolos will be without winger Ignacio Malcorra and forward Gustavo “Pantera” Bou. Bou was injured after a hard fall on the turf at Estadio Caliente in the match against Pumas on February 17, while Malcorra appears to be a healthy scratch.
Motagua had a week off from the rigors of the Honduran Liga Nacional and has been in Tijuana since Sunday. In their last match against Xolos they held their own, forcing Gibran Lajud to make five saves. Motagua’s offense showed glimpses of promise, but Tijuana’s defense has been among the best in the hemisphere this year and it will be no easy ask for Motagua to break through.