ESTELI, Nicaragua – History informed us that Real Esteli’s Round of 16 series with Aguila in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League Round of 16 would be a close one.
After all, the Nicaraguan power saw 16 of its 20 all-time games in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League be decided by one goal or fewer. And that’s why it wasn’t surprising that host Aguila finished a 1-0 winner in the first leg last week.
“We knew that the match was a bit complicated, but, equally, we knew that it was time for us to go 95 minutes all out,” Real Esteli winger Carlos Chavarria told CONCACAF.com. “Sadly, at the end, [the loss] was due in part to concentration, but this week we are working on that, and, first, to get a result here at home.”
The Tren del Norte had an opportunity to take the lead earlier in the encounter, when Sebastian Acosta’s 78th-minute free kick ricocheted off the crossbar. Eleven minutes later, Victor Garcia’s header gave Aguila a narrow victory.
“In that moment, we had hope,” Chavarria said about his thoughts in regards to Acosta’s effort. “But that’s part of football. It didn’t happen.”
Real Esteli wasn’t fazed or shaken in the result’s aftermath. In fact, the side remains confident of sealing advancement at its Estadio Independencia home on Tuesday night.
“More than anything, we talked among each other and we know that nothing is lost because we have 95 minutes here at home and we are with our fans,” remarked Chavarria, who scored Nicaragua’s first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup goal a month ago. “We are very motivated and we hope to get the result here at home.”