Action from the first CONCACAF Champions League meeting between Caledonia AIA (left) and host Toluca on August 6, 2013, at the Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – Caledonia AIA will look to pick up its first-ever CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) win when it hosts Mexico’s Toluca on Wednesday at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Trinidadian side sits third in Group 6 with zero points from two games. In order to avoid elimination, securing three points against the table toppers is absolutely essential.
A Toluca victory would put it on the precipice of a third trip to the quarterfinals. The CCL road, though, has not been kind to the Red Devils over the years. Prior to defeating Comunicaciones 2-1 on August 22, they were winless in seven straight away outings.
In their first meeting on August 6, Toluca won 3-1 at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. Edgar Benitez, Miguel Almanza and Raul Nava each got on the scoresheet, before Julian Wade pulled one back with two minutes left in regulation time.
In just their second CCL appearance, Caledonia wants to make an impression on the competition and a victory over the former CONCACAF club champion would do just that. Last week, head coach Jamaal Shabazz emphasized with local media the importance of representing both Trinidad & Tobago and Caribbean football.
“We’re six points down, but we still can get six points from our next two games,” said Shabazz. “In the game against Toluca, we’re going to try and get three points because we owe it to Trinidad & Tobago, we owe it to the clubs in the Pro-League and we owe it to Caribbean football to make a strong finish and try to get six points.”