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Central American Cup, Caribbean Cup lead week in Concacaf


It will be a decisive week in the Concacaf region, as the second legs of the 2023 Concacaf Central American quarterfinals will determine not only the semifinalists, but four places in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, while the 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Cup group stage comes to a dramatic close.

Central America Cup 

The second leg matches of the 2023 Concacaf Central American Cup quarterfinals will take place this week with a lot on the line. Not only will the winners of each series reach the semifinal stage, but they will also punch a precious ticket to the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

No doubt one of the most anticipated matches will be the return leg between Costa Rican giants and three-time Concacaf champions Deportivo Saprissa against Real Esteli of Nicaragua on Wednesday. Real Esteli continued to show great strength playing at home and emerged with a 1-0 victory in the first leg.

But now the two teams will head to the Costa Rican capital where Saprissa always seem to deliver their best performances. It will be a great test of character for a Real Esteli side looking to take a great step forward within the Central American region, while the legendary pedigree of the Monstruo Morado will be put to one of its sternest tests.

The other three quarterfinal second legs should also produce great spectacles. On Tuesday in Panama, Independiente will try to use the home fans to their advantage against Motagua of Honduras with the aggregate scoreline sitting at 1-1 thanks to a late Independiente goal in the first leg.

Costa Rican club Herediano and Comunicaciones of Guatemala will meet on Wednesday in Costa Rica for the third time in this Central American Cup with the margins razor-thin after their 0-0 draw in Guatemala City. A single goal just may be enough to get the job done in this series.

Closing out the week will be the return leg in the all-Costa Rican series between Cartagines and Alajuelense. A breathtaking three-goal spurt in 13 minutes gave Alajuelense a 3-1 win at Cartagines in the first leg, putting Alajuelense on the doorstep of a series victory.

Caribbean Cup

The Caribbean Cup will begin its fifth and final week of action with semifinal spots still undecided.

Defence Force of Trinidad and Tobago will host Dominican Republic side Moca in a winner-take-all affair in Group A on Wednesday. Defence Force are in third-place on five points, just one behind Moca for the final semifinal spot, so only a win will do for the home side. Meanwhile, Moca can advance with a draw, and still could win the group should they take the three points and group leaders and already-qualified Cavalier of Jamaica (7 points) drop points against eliminated Golden Lion of Martinique.

Group B will be decided on Thursday with Robinhood of Suriname hosting Dominican Republic side Atletico Pantoja. Robinhood have six points and are in second place and only require a draw to clinch a semifinal place. However, Atletico Pantoja can pass them in the standings with a win by a two-goal margin in Suriname.

The other game in the group features leaders Harbour View of Jamaica (7 points) traveling to eliminated Cibao. Harbour View have secured their semifinal spot and can cement a first-place finish with a win.

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