Perfect Pachuca opens SCCL against Olimpia

Francisco Venegas (pictured) made his Liga MX debut for Pachuca on July 30, 2016, against visiting Necaxa. (Photo: Mexsport)

PACHUCA, Mexico – Pachuca will look to continue its perfect start to the 2016-17 season on Tuesday, when it hosts Olimpia at the Estadio Hidalgo in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Group G opener for both. 

The Tuzos top the Liga MX Apertura table with an unblemished 3W-0W-0L record, netting eight goals – a total good for a share of the league lead with fourth-place Club Tijuana. 

On Saturday, Pachuca earned a 1-0 win over visiting Necaxa. Stefan Medina scored the only goal in the 38th minute off a composed chip over goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero from 12-yards out. It was Medina’s third strike of the campaign, leaving him in a three-way tie for third on the league’s scoring chart. 

The win marked the debut of yet another player from Pachuca’s remarkably productive youth academy as midfielder Francisco Venegas entered the match in the 76th minute for Wilson Morelo. The 18-year-old worked his way up the ladder, under-15 side to the senior squad. 

"I’m very happy that I could fulfill a dream and I thank God and the coach (Diego Alonso), who gave me confidence,” said Venegas, who netted three goals in six matches at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. "I was very anxious to play. My family came to see me and it was a special night." 

Although Pachuca is winless in its last three SCCL games (0W-2D-1L), it has never lost at home in the competition (9-1-0), winning the 2009/10 title. 

Olimpia, which opened the 2016 Honduran Apertura with a 3-2 home win over Social Sol on Friday, is the only team in SCCL history to qualify for all nine editions. 

The Leones are 2-1-3 against Mexican opposition, with wins – both by 2-1 -- coming against Toluca in 2010/11 and Santos in 2011/12.