MIAMI, Florida – The first week of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League will be remembered for the amazing moments produced in the Preliminary Round. Here is a look at some of the best from this week’s action.
Motagua win a penalty shootout to remember
It took 36 penalty kicks in all, but Honduran club Motagua managed to outlast Guatemalan opponent Comunicaciones 15-14 in their penalty shootout to advance to the Round of 16. It was not only the longest penalty shootout in the history of Concacaf club competition, but the longest penalty shootout of any international professional club competition among the world’s six Confederations. There were top-notch saves from GKs Jonathan Rougier of Motagua and Jose Calderon of Comunicaciones, along with dramatic conversions and misses, and it finally ended with Comunicaciones’ 18th attempt striking the crossbar.
Novak nets a big one
Heading into the final stages of their contest with Municipal Limeno of El Salvador, Canadian Premier League side Forge FC had their backs against the wall playing a man down on the road and the score knotted at 1-1. But that did little to deter Forge FW Anthony Novak, who pulled off a brilliant bit of individual skill to send Forge to the next round. In the 83’, Novak received a pass at the top of the area and with an exquisite first touch, set himself up with a right-footed shot that rippled the net and earned Forge the dramatic 2-1 victory.
Antigua in good hands with Ayala
Independiente of Panama GK Jose Guerra has enjoyed some superb performances in Concacaf in recent years, but in the Canalero club’s tie with Antigua GFC, it was counterpart Victor Ayala stealing the show for the Guatemalans. After making several key saves in regulation, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Ayala was called on to be a difference maker in the penalty shootout. The Antigua shot-stopper came through in the clutch with a big save on Jose Fajardo’s penalty attempt, which would eventually lead to a 4-2 victory, giving Antigua their first ever SCL series win.
Managua FC make history
Nicaragua’s Managua FC made some history after topping CD FAS of El Salvador 5-4 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw between the two sides. Managua became just the second Nicaraguan club to advance a round in the SCL, following in the footsteps of Walter Ferretti in 2017 and 2018. It was also Managua’s first ever series win in Concacaf competition. The hero of the night was GK Lester Acevedo, who saved Walter Chiguila’s attempt to secure Managua’s passage.