Salvadoran side Luis Angel Firpo (center) needs three points in order to avoid elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League, when it squares off against visiting Victoria on September 19, 2013, in San Salvador. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Though Club Tijuana tops the Group 7 table with seven points, a Thursday CONCACAF Champions League encounter pairs two Central American sides still in contention for a quarterfinal berth. Three points for Luis Angel Firpo and Victoria will do either side wonders. For CONCACAF official notes about this game, click here.
After two matches, host Firpo sits in second with one point obtained from a scoreless draw at home on August 6 against Tijuana. Victoria, meanwhile, suffered a 3-2 loss to visiting Tijuana in its lone game on August 23.
“We have seen some videos of how to play Luis Angel Firpo, it is a very technical team that has good players,” Victoria defender Edder Arias told La Prensa. “We can not get confident because in football you cannot give advantage, other than that we lost and we want to recover against Tijuana.”
Victoria enters the match following a 1-1 draw with Parrillas One, giving the squad seven points from seven matches in the Honduran Apertura.
Despite having domestic challenges, Victoria defender Wilmer Cristano, who scored in the 3-2 loss to Tijuana, is confident his team can get three points in San Salvador.
“We are going to arrive at the game well, the National League tournament has nothing to do with the Champions League,” Crisanto said. “They are very different games and we will play to the death because we want to win to get to Mexico relatively calm in order to face Tijuana.”
While Victoria still has three matches and nine possible points to contest in the Group Stage, Luis Angel Firpo just has two – both against Victoria. Any result other than a victory will result in its elimination.
That six point road starts with Thursday night’s game at Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador.
“We need a victory on Thursday,” Luis Angel Firpo defender Mauricio Quintanilla said. “We believe in the work we have been doing, the readiness we all have to do god a good job.”
Luis Angel Firpo enters the critical match following a 1-0 loss to fellow CCL participant Isidro Metapan in the Salvadoran Apertura, where it occupies sixth place in the standings with eight points from eight matches.
“We want to represent the country well, it’s a pleasure to be in a tournament like the Champions League and we are all in spirits to get a result,” Luis Angel Firpo defender Moises Xavier Garcia told El Grafico. “We know that Honduran teams play hard and fast, but we aim to get the three points at home.”