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Verdes face Alianza in revenge match in Scotiabank Concacaf League in El Salvador tonight

Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2022. 1:05 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Verdes FC

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Verdes play their toughest match on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm against Salvadoran champions Alianza in San Salvador as they find themselves down 0-2 in the Scotiabank Concacaf League’s Round of 16.

“We have been putting in our work, with discipline, commitment, fun as one family. We are confident and we will make BELIZE proud,” Verdes wrote on social media.

“We WILL continue to make history! Verdes Nation! BELIZE.”

After edging Altitude 1-0 on Saturday night at Mango Creek, Verdes made a 12-hour trip by road via Guatemala to El Salvador. Since then, they’ve been preparing for the return match against the Salvadoran champions.

On Tuesday, they had their last training session at the Cuscatlán Stadium where tonight they’ll not only have to battle the 11 players on the other side of the pitch but the thousands of fans who will be in attendance at Central America’s largest stadium. The Cuscatlán has capacity for 53,400 fans but FIFA only allows 45,000 for its events.

Verdes will not be able to field ‘their general’ Everal Trapp as he was red carded at the beginning of the second half (47’) in the first match last Wednesday at the FFB Stadium. Alianza is also affected in a similar manner as they cannot suit up Narciso Orellana who was ejected in the 91’.

Verdes have strengthened their squad with the addition of midfielder Denmark Casey Jr who should give them more creative options and better ball control in midfield. They’ve also added Trimayne ‘Pepa’ Gentle who should give them more offensive power.

The Belizean champs must play a perfect game (and then some) tonight as they find themselves in an uphill struggle having conceded twice. The away goal rule means that they would have to defeat the Salvadoran club by three goals to advance to the next quarterfinals. A 2-0 win would tie the series and force overtime. A win by two could also give Verdes the ticket if they score more than two goals, that’s a 3-1 or 4-2 for example.

But having been unable to score here at home they would have to start as they did against Platense when they took a 2-0 lead. However, against Platense they relinquished the advantage and ended up drawing the match 2-2 and only qualifying on away goals. Now, the away goals are not in their favour, so it makes the match so much more difficult. Plus, Alianza are a stronger team, and their fans are so much more numerous and vociferous than Platense’s.

So, if you think Verdes had their hand full with the Altitude fans, multiply that at least by ten times tonight. That’s pressure.

And that’s what the Green Machine must contend with.

A win tonight – qualifying or not – would be nothing short of heroic.

Nothing less is expected.

 

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