Game: Club América vs. Tauro FC
Date: Tuesday, March 6th
Time: 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 5:00 PM Pacific, 1:00 AM UTC
Venue: Estadio Azteca (Mexico City)
Tauro FC, the CONCACAF Champions Leage quarterfinals opponents of Club América, are not exactly what you would call a household name outside of Panama. Most fútbol fans would be forgiven for having next to now knowledge of the Panamanian side.
Tauro FC was founded in 1984 by an Italian businessman named Giancarlo Gronchi who was looking to start a fútbol league between local companies and businesses in the area. Four years after being founded, Tauro FC joined the Liga Panameña de Fútbol and won their first professional title a year later in 1989. Since wilnning their first professional title in 1989, Tauro FC have grown into one of the giants of Panamanian fútbol winning 13 titles along the way. The most recent of which came during the 2017 Clausura tournament.
Tauro FC advanced to face Club América in the quarterfinals of thr CONCACAF Champions League after shocking MLS side FC Dallas in the round of 16. Nothing about the two legged tie against FC Dallas was easy. In the first leg, Tauro FC managed to squad out a surprise 1-0 victory. In leg two, following a poor run of form in the domestic league, Tauro FC lost 3-2 in Dallas. However, they managed to advance on the away goals rule.
Through their first nine matches in the Panamanian league, Tauro FC find themselves sitting in 8th position out of 10 teams with just 11 points and a -1 goal difference. The current form of the team barely resembles any traits from the championship winning Clausura 2017 tournament that qualified the side from Panama City to the CONCACAF Champions League for the 2nd time in team history. Tauro FC are going to have to drastically improve if they want to have any hope of defeating Club América and advancing in the competition.
Miguel Herrera and Club América will be hoping to avoid the same fate as FC Dallas when they take on the quarterfinals opponents from Panama. Tuesday night’s meeting between the two sides will be the first time that Club América and Tauro FC have ever played each other.
On paper, it would appear that las Águilas are by far the superior of the two sides. Everything from their record in international tournaments to the quality of players that make up each team would seem to favor Club América. However, all signs also pointed to FC Dallas being superior to Tauro FC and the MLS squad finds themselves watching the rest of the CONCACAF Champions League from home.
Given that a defeat at the hands of Tauro FC would be considered a catastrophic failure for Club América, it should be expected that las Águilas will send out a strong starting XI in the first leg of their quarterfinals matchup. A lineup and bench similar to that used in the Clásico Nacional against Chivas over the weekend should be expected.
Club América should simply be too much for Tauro FC and assuming that everything goes according to plan for Miguel Herrera’s squad they should find themselves on the winning end of a rather lopsided scoreline.