Herediano, Motagua hungry for victory in second matches

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 MIAMI, Florida – The second week of the 2023 Concacaf Central American Cup continues with another three-match slate on Wednesday.

Things start at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in Alajuela, Costa Rica where Costa Rican club Herediano will host Aguila of El Salvador in Group C play.

For Aguila, this will be their first match of the tournament. The 1976 Concacaf Champions Cup winners are in Concacaf competition for the second year in a row after playing in the 2022 Concacaf League.

They will be leaning on players like Gerson Mayen, Santos Ortiz and Duvier Riascos to provide an attacking spark. Mayen scored eight goals in 37 Salvadoran league matches in 2022-23, while Ortiz had nine goals. Riascos has Concacaf experience as well, scoring a goal as a member of Alianza FC against Comunicaciones in the 2021 Concacaf League.

Herediano are coming off an opening 1-1 draw against Diriangen in which Fernan Faerron’s goal helped the 10-man Ticos salvage a point. Jesus Godinez was the busiest player up front with four shots, while MF Yeltsin Tejeda completed 46 passes.

The second game of the night pits Xelaju of Guatemala against 1979 Concacaf champions FAS of El Salvador in Group B at the Estadio Pensativo in Antigua, Guatemala.

Xelaju suffered a 1-0 defeat to Real Esteli in their opening match, while FAS are making their debut in the tournament.

Despite the defeat, Xelaju got some solid defensive performances against Real Esteli, in particular, Kenner Gutierrez, who completed 43 passes and had a clearance. GK Jose Calderon was also very good in making eight saves and two clearances.

FAS are back in Concacaf competition for the first time since the 2021 Concacaf League and boast plenty of Concacaf experience. Dustin Corea has played in eight career Concacaf matches and has 18 goals in 38 Salvadoran league games, while Rudy Clavel played in four instances of the Concacaf League and two Concacaf Champions Cups, mostly as a member of Alianza.

The night then concludes with Honduran club Motagua looking to stay hot in Group D against Sporting San Miguelito of Panama at the Estadio Chelato Ucles in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Motagua ran out 5-0 winners in their opening match against Verdes FC of Belize thanks in large part to new arrival Agustin Auzmendi, who scored three goals to power his side to victory. Helping out were Yeison Mejia, Ricky Zapata and Kevin Alvarez, who all collected assists on the night.

Sporting San Miguelito will be playing their first match of the tournament and will counter with Edgar Aparicio, who has been a standout thus far in the 2023 Panamanian season.

Alexis Corpas is another one to watch in Concacaf competition, having scored in a 2019 Concacaf Champions Cup match for Independiente versus Sporting Kansas City, while Valentin Pimentel has a Concacaf goal to his name, that coming in a 2017 Concacaf League game against Portmore United as a member of Plaza Amador.

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