Real España (pictured) poses for a team photo before a CONCACAF Champions League match at Mexico's Pachuca on August 6, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Real España (0-0-1, 0 points) realizes how valuable three points will be when it hosts Municipal (0-0-0) in a CONCACAF Champions League Group 1 match Thursday at the Estadio Francisco Morazán.
After going winless in seven of its last eight CCL outings, including a 4-1 defeat at Pachuca to open the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League campaign, a victory against the Guatemalans is vital.
“We would like to combine good football with good results, but the priority is to win, so we understand,” said Real España head coach Javier Delgado.
The former Costa Rica international is looking to see how his team handles adversity. In response to the Pachuca (1-0-0, 3 points) setback, the 2013 Honduran Apertura champion played Vida to a goalless draw in domestic play.
“What you must always have is a team, a dedicated team with good character,” Delgado commented.
It will be the first meeting in 14 years between Real España and Municipal, giving Delgado an opportunity to face one of the clubs he once managed. The 46-year-old led the Rojos to the 2011 Guatemalan title.
“Three years have passed, it (Municipal) has changed its roster, it probably has another philosophy with Professor (head coach Anibal) Ruiz,” Delgado noted. “I know at least 10 or 12 players in their current team, but Real España is most important now.”
Delgado also continued to place his faith in starting goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez, 28, despite his team’s early struggles.
“I have said that I’m not for rotating goalkeepers,” Delgado continued. “Kevin is a starter at this time and will be evaluated according to his performance.”
Under former Real España head coach Hernan Medford, Luis Lopez was the first choice goalkeeper. He was on Honduras’ roster at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but did not play.