FC Dallas' Maynor Figueroa (middle) celebrates with teammates after scoring against visiting Real Esteli in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match on August 4, 2016, in Frisco, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas started its 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League campaign on the right foot in Thursday’s 2-1 win over visiting Group H rival Real Esteli.
With the score level at 1-1, Maynor Figueroa scored the game-winner for the home side. The 84th minute goal may have disappointed the Nicaraguans, but it left the Honduras international delighted.
“It is an important accomplishment,” said Figueroa in regard to his first-ever SCCL strike. “More than the goal is the win, the three points. This is just the beginning. I think the win was deserved. I think we all made a great effort to win and we’re happy for the result.”
The veteran of six English Premier League campaigns with Wigan Athletic praised the performance of Real Esteli, which has seen six of last its eight SCCL outings be decided by one goal or fewer – none of them wins.
“They were very smart in certain instances of the match, especially when it was 1-1,” Figueroa commented. “They started to manage time, but we knew to have calmness and wait for our opportunity to be able to score. The away match in Nicaragua is going to be hard. It is going to be a hostile environment there, but we have to prepare ourselves to fight.”
FC Dallas is riding an 18-match unbeaten streak at home and remains alive in all three competitions in which it entered involved: MLS, US Open Cup and the SCCL. Figueroa said that the team has the right mentality to take all the trophies on offer.
“We have a great squad that can face these three competitions,” the former Olimpia star finished. “Independent of who plays, the functioning of the team always looks good. We are going to continue with the same intensity. We are not going to relax.”