SCCL View: Motagua
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Motagua standout Carlos Discua (blue jersey) takes a shot during a 2017 Honduran Apertura match.

In the twelth of a series of articles taking a closer look at each of the 16 teams in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL), CONCACAF.com goes in-depth on Motagua.

MOTAGUA/HONDURAS

By The Numbers

2017 Apertura Record: W9 D6 L3 GF31 GA21

Final Position (Regular Season): 2nd Place

Final Position (Playoffs): Runner-up, Final

Playoff Results: Semifinals (agg: 3-3 v Olimpia, advanced by virtue of having a better regular-season record); Final (agg: 2-3 aet v Real España)

Top Scorer (Regular Season): Rubilio Castillo, 8 goals  

Season Summary

As the Honduran league’s only undefeated team at home, Motagua finished just one point behind Marathon in the regular-season standings.. However, its hopes of a third straight tile were dashed in the two-legged final by Real España, which prevailed after extra time, 3-2 on aggregate.  The eventual champion won the series opener 2-0 at home, but Motagua prevailed in the second leg by the same score – thanks to Rubilio Castillo’s brace – but Angel Tejeda’s extra-time goal allowed the Aurinegros to lift the trophy.

Season Highlight

Motagua trailed by one goal late before rallying for a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes, including the 90th-minute winner by Wilmer Crisanto, for a dramatic 2-1 win over Marathon on October 21.

Key Player: Rubilio Castillo

The 26-year-old forward, who has four career goals for Honduras, led Motagua in regular-season scoring with eight goals in 17 appearances, including a brace in a 3-2 loss to Real España.  In the playoffs, Castillo struck for four more goals, twice netting to goals in the home legs of the semifinal and final series.

Player to Watch in 2018: Marcelo Pereira

The 22-year-old defender, who helped Honduras to the 2017 Copa Centroamericana title, was a regular for Motagua’s backline before suffering a muscle injury.

Fabulous Facts

Motagua was only team in the Honduran Apertura to go undefeated at home, posting a 5W-4D-0L record. The Ciclon Azul has won its last five home matches in the regular- and post-season combined.

SCCL Round of 16 Outlook

Motagua faces Club Tijuana in an intriguing Round of 16 matchup, but history is not on the Honduran team’s side.  It is 0W-1D-3L all-time against Mexican opposition in the competition.

 

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