MIAMI, Florida – A pair of clubs looking to take that next step will face off in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League Preliminary Round as Independiente of Panama host Antigua GFC of Guatemala on Wednesday night.
Independiente enjoyed a solid display in their first and only SCL to date in 2019 when they defeated Suriname’s SV Robinhood in the Round of 16 before valiantly falling to eventual champions Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.
The Canalero club is back in the tournament after earning the best record among non-champions in Panamanian football during 2019-20 and will go against an Antigua side that also made their SCL debut in 2019.
For the Chapines, it was a frustrating experience as they were eliminated 2-1 on aggregate by Canadian side Forge FC in the Preliminary Round. But after accruing the second-best record among non-champions in Guatemalan football during the 2019-20 season to punch their ticket, there is optimism that the 2020 SCL will be a different story.
The man to watch for Independiente will be FW Jose Fajardo, who scored five goals during the 2019 Apertura, while veteran Jairo Arreola’s 18 matches in Concacaf play will provide a big boost to the Antigua midfield.
Wednesday’s encounter represents the first ever meeting between the two clubs in Concacaf play and is also the first ever meeting between Panamanian and Guatemalan clubs in the SCL.
In the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, there have been six previous matches between clubs from the two countries, with three Guatemalan victories, two Panamanian victories and one draw. If that record is any indication, Wednesday’s tilt promises to be very even.
Kick-off from Panama City’s Rommel Fernandez Stadium is scheduled for 8 PM ET.