Vancouver advance despite Real Espana win via Montes brace
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Vancouver advance despite Real Espana win via Montes brace

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SAN PEDRO SULA The Vancouver Whitecaps are through to the quarterfinal round of the 2023 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League despite a 3-2 defeat to Real Espana of Honduras in the second leg of the 2023 SCCL Round of 16 on Wednesday night at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

With the result, the Whitecaps advance to the final eight of the tournament courtesy of a 7-3 victory on aggregate and will face the winner of the Los Angeles FC-Alajuelense series.

Staring at a 5-0 deficit on aggregate to start the game, Real Espana came out very aggressive and almost pulled a goal back in the 4’ when Devron Garcia forced Vancouver GK Thomas Hasal into a stretch save.

Vancouver were keen to make sure Real Espana could not build any momentum and Cristian Dajome came within a whisker of giving his side a lead in the 8’ with a shot that struck the post. 

Hasal was called into action again right before halftime when Jose Reyes looked set to score off a cutback pass, but instead Hasal reacted quickly and made the big save.

Vancouver never lost their nerve despite the Real Espana pressure and landed a big blow in the 66’ with a quick steal and pass to White, who hammered in a right-footed shot to hand Vancouver a 1-0 lead.


Real Espana answered right back when Hasal was unable to hold onto a ball and it spilled to Getsel Montes, who turned in a shot to level the match at 1-1.

That further sparked the Real Espana attack and suddenly it was 2-1 to the hosts when 2022 Scotiabank Concacaf League top scorer Ramiro Rocca scored in the 75’ with a shot into the top left corner of net.


Vancouver produced an answer, though, in the 83’, as Simon Becher received a long ball and eluded a defender right near the end line before slipping a shot past Real Espana GK Luis Lopez to make it 2-2.

It was Real Espana’s turn to strike back and find the game’s final and game-winning goal in the 86’ through a Montes header off a corner kick to earn Real Espana a 3-2 victory in the game, but a 7-3 Vancouver win on aggregate.