Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between Real Esteli (pictured) and Sporting Kansas City on August 7, 2013, in Esteli, Nicaragua. (Photo: Pinolersports)
For Real Esteli v Olimpia game notes, please click here.
ESTELI, Nicaragua -- Following a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City in its opener, Real Esteli entertains Olimpia in its last home game of the CONCACAF Champions League’s group stage Wednesday at the Estadio Independencia.
It will play its final two Group 2 matches on the road, which puts even more of an emphasis on winning Wednesday’s fixture against the Honduran powerhouse.
While El Tren del Norte may have lost its first Champions League game, the squad remained perfect in the Nicaraguan Primera Division following Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Real Madriz. A Wilber Sanchez header ensured that Estelo sits alone atop the Primera Division with 12 points from four wins. Team captain Elmer Mejia did not play in that encounter due to an injury, but there is a hope he could be available Wednesday.
One of two clubs to qualify for all six editions of the Champions Leagues, Olimpia booked its 2013-14 berth by capturing both the 2012 Apertura and 2013 Clausura titles.
The 27-time Honduran champion suffered its first loss in the current Apertura on Sunday, falling 2-0 to Real España on a pair of second-half goals and dropping to 1-1-1 after three matches.
Olimpia will travel to Nicaragua without Honduran international defender Brayan Beckles, who will serve a suspension as a result of an ejection in a Champions League game against the Houston Dynamo on September 24, 2012.
“We start our participation in the CONCACAF Champions League, where we play a very important game,” Olimpia assistant Cocli Salgado told the website Diez.hn. “We watched the game against Kansas City and [Real Esteli] is seen to be a strong team at home, but we go to find out those three points.”
The Lions have only two wins in 11 all-time CCL away encounters and are winless in their last four on the road in the competition.