• Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

    Xelaju makes push ahead of CCL

    GUATEMALA CITY -- Xelaju came to Guatemala City having never won at the Estadio Manuel Felipe Carrera. Hernan Medford's team left the capital with three points in hand and considerable momentum heading towards the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League.

    The weekend victory over Municipal was the Super Chivos' first-ever in the Reds' fortress, and catapulted the 2012 Clausura champion into second place in the current Clausura table, tied on nine points with Heredia and Halcones.

    Perhaps, more importantly, Xelaju seems to be picking up steam headed into their early March regional quarterfinal opener at home against CONCACAF giant Monterrey. The Super Chivos have now won two in a row after dropping two of their first three to open the 2013 campaign.

    "This is huge for us," said forward Israel Silva, who scored the lone goal in the 1-0 triumph over Municipal. "It gives us a lot of belief and confidence as we head forward into bigger things."

    Xelaju was perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League group stage,beating out Mexico's Guadalajara to claim a place in the knockout round. The Super Chivos won at home against Chivas and W Connection of Trinidad and Tobago, before going on the road to claim the quarterfinal spot with a historic away goal at the Estadio Omnilife in Zapopan.

    Since then, it hasn't all been smooth going for Medford's side. After finishing third in the Guatemalan Apertura 2012 table, the Super Chivos were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs by sixth-seed Malacateco.

    But the Quetzaltenango side looks now to be regaining the form that got it into the quarterfinals of the regional event, after a huge weekend win in Guatemala City.

    "This is a very big win for us, to come here on the road and win in their stadium for the first time," said Medford. "It proves what we are capable of. Now we're approaching a historic game for the club and for the city of Quetzaltenango."

    Xelaju hosts two-time defending CONCACAF champion Monterrey on March 6 at the Estadio Mario Camposeco in Quetzaltenango. The return leg will be played six days later at the Estadio Tecnologico.

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