ESTELI, Nicaragua – Aguila secured a berth in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinals on Tuesday night, prevailing over host Real Esteli, 4-3 on penalty kicks, after their Round of 16 series ended 1-1 on aggregate at the Estadio Independencia.
Real Esteli won the second leg, 1-0, forcing immediate kicks from the spot rather than 30 minutes of extratime.
Both sides converted their first pair of penalty kicks. On Real Esteli’s third attempt, however, Aguila goalkeeper Benji Villalobos blocked Carlos Chavarria’s right-footed effort with a low dive towards the left post.
Heading into the fifth round, Aguila was ahead 4-3, meaning that Gregorio Torres needed to net or Real Esteli would be eliminated. Villalobos, once again, came up big to make a similar save.
Nahum Peralta scored the game’s only normal-time goal in the 85th minute. A collision near the top of the box between Torres and Aguila’s Richard Dixon allowed Chavarria to fire off the left post. The ball ricocheted to Peralta, who snapped a right-footed shot just inside the right post from 18yards out.
Torres nearly made it 2-0 in the second minute of stoppage time, but his left-footed effort from near the top of the area went wide of the left post.
Aguila will face the winner of Central FC-Arabe Unido in the quarterfinals, which are scheduled to start on August 15.