The Clausura playoffs begin in Guatemala, while Real Estelí closes in on another championship in Nicaragua. CONCACAF.com looks at all of the action across the region.
This Wednesday, the Clausura tournament playoffs begin in Guatemala with quarterfinal, first leg play. Comunicaciones, which finished first after the 22-round regular season, takes on eighth-seeded Xelajú. The Cremas posted a win and tie against the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist in two league meetings.
Also this Wednesday, second-seeded Heredia visits Universidad San Carlos. In a pair of Clausura meetings between them, Heredia (2-0) posted a win and a draw (2-2).
Thursday will see the start of the other quarterfinals with Malacateco visiting Marquense in a San Marcos classic. Marquense already knows well how to defeat Malacateco at home, as they did in a 4-1 win during the season. Meanwhile, the Bulls were able to get the best of their rivals, 1-0, when they played in the Estadio Santa Lucía.
In the last quarterfinal, Halcones FC welcomes Suchitepéquez. During the season, the northern side beat Suchi 2-0 en Huehuetenango, while as host, the Deer defeated Halcones, 3-0.
Real Estelí is on the verge of another championship after its 3-0 win over Walter Ferreti in the first leg of the Nicaraguan final on Saturday. The Train of the North went ahead with a goal in the 25th minute, when Félix Rodríguez headed in a Samuel Wilson free kick.
In the second half, the host took advantage of Walter Ferreti's fatigue and doubled the advantage in the 63rd minute. A pinpoint pass from Elmer Mejía was rifled in by Wilber Sánchez to make it 2-0, setting off pandemonium at the Estadio Independencia.
The home team's celebration culminated with a third goal in the final moments of the match. Mejía converted a penalty one minute into stoppage time after Norfran Lazo had been fouled in the area.
Walter Ferreti will look to mount a comeback this Sunday in Managua's Estadio Olímpico, where its needs to win by four goals in order to be crowned champions.
There is a new head coach at Real España of San Pedro Sula and it is the legendary Costa Rican player Hernán Medford. This past Tuesday the former 'Tico' striker announced his parting with Guatemala's Xelajú, as Medford will leave the Guatemalan side when the current season is completed. Xelajú is playing in the quarterfinals against Comunicaciones. In addition, Medford confirmed that he will remain as Xelajú head coach for however long the team lasts in the playoffs.