Suchitepequez (pictured) convenes for a team photo prior to a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match against visiting Real Esteli on August 18, 2016, in Guatemala City. (Photo: Mexsport)
MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Guatemala’s Suchitepequez (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) knows that its path to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals will be made more straightforward with a win over host – and already eliminated -- Real Esteli (0-1-2, 1) on Tuesday night.
A victory would see Venados leap into first place in Group H over FC Dallas (1-1-0, 4), with the sides slated to meet each other in the group’s last two matches (September 28 in Frisco, Texas, and October 20 in Guatemala City).
Suchitepequez, which posted a 1-0 win over Esteli on a stoppage-time goal by Kevin Ruiz in their first meeting last month, traveled to Nicaragua after falling 4-1 at Municipal in domestic play Sunday. It is eager, however, to remain perfect in the SCCL.
"This is the match we have to win,” team captain and forward Wilson Morales told CONCACAF.com. “We are psyched to win. It will be a tough match. The attitude is 100% positive. The loss to [Municipal] has been left behind. We have turned the page.”
The 24-year-old knows that the Tren del Norte will be difficult to beat at the Estadio Independencia, where it has played to three consecutive 1-1 draws in the SCCL.
"It's a team that has good players, attacks well,” he finished. “We have to be good defensively. For us, it is an honor to play in the Champions League.”
With a win against Esteli, Suchitepequez will join Heredia (2013/14) as the only teams from Guatemala to win their first two SCCL games.