Real Esteli's Juan Berdun (white jersey) scored in his Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League debut at FC Dallas on August 4, 2016, Frisco, Texas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
FRISCO, Texas – Real Esteli was six minutes away from its second-ever road draw in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday, when FC Dallas’ Maynor Figueroa broke a 1-1 stalemate with his first career goal in the competition.
The score would end 2-1 in favor of the host, meaning that Esteli remained winless in 17 all-time SCCL games.
Despite disappointment with the result, El Tren del Norte had something to celebrate as midfielder Juan Berdun struck in his competition debut. The goal was Real Esteli’s seventh goal scored since its inaugural match against the Impact de Montreal in 2008.
After coming on as a substitute at halftime, Berdun leveled in the 48th minute, pounding home from four-yards out off a long ball from midfielder Franklin Lopez.
“It is a special feeling in that there was a lot of joy, not only personally, but for what this team is giving,” Berdun told CONCACAF.com. “This group deserves a lot.”
With a positive result so close to its grasp, Berdun acknowledged Esteli was not pleased with the way in which the final minutes transpired.
“It was a difficult game,” said the 29-year-old Argentinean, who joined Esteli in the offseason from Racing Athletic Club in his native country. “They took the lead. We got the equalizer quickly in the second half. When we started to manage the draw and looked for the win, the game escaped us and we leave with a bitter taste.”
Real Esteli will now turn its attention to Guatemalan champion Suchitepequez and their SCCL meeting on August 18. Berdun says that the team is up for the battle.
“We are going to fight until the end,” he finished. “We know that there are things to improve, but we are going to give everything to reach the next round.”