CONCACAF said on Friday that the first leg matches of the Round of 16 of the 2023 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League are in the books in which many memorable moments were produced across the eight matches.
Here are the five that stood out the most, according to CONCACAF:
Violette makes history
It said Violette AC’s 3-0 victory against MLS side Austin FC was significant for many reasons.
“Not only was it the first victory ever for a Haitian club in the SCCL era, but it was also the first win for a Caribbean team against a team from MLS in the SCCL since the 2010-11 edition when the Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1 in the Preliminary Round first leg,” CONCACAF said.
It said the hero was Miche-Naider Chery whose two headers have Violette on the verge of an unprecedented series win.
Club Leon navigate tough Panama trip
CONCACAF said the 2023 SCCL marks the fourth straight season in which Mexico’s Club Leon has participated in the tournament, stating that “they got off on the right foot on Wednesday in a tough 1-0 win at Panamanian club Tauro.”
“Club Leon were just one of two sides that won away from home during the week, and they used a timely Ivan Moreno goal and a strong defensive effort to do it,” CONCACAF said. “It is a strong start for a team that is aiming to reach at least a SCCL semifinal for the first time.”
Benguche chip highlights Olimpia’s dream night
CONCACAF said Jorge Benguche may only be 26 years old, but “he already has a history of starring on CONCACAF nights and he produced his best yet in Olimpia’s 4-1 win over Liga MX side Atlas on Wednesday.”
After scoring to give Olimpia a 2-1 lead, CONCACAF said Benguche capped his night with an exquisite chip over Atlas GK Camilo Vargas to make it 4-1.
“Olimpia could not have asked for a better outing and it expands Benguche’s growing CONCACAF legacy to seven goals in 21 career Concacaf club games,” CONCACAF said.
Vancouver attack takes flight
CONCACAF said one of the most breathtaking performances of the week came from the Vancouver Whitecaps, as four different players found the back of the net for the Canadians side, along with an own goal, in a decisive 5-0 win versus Real Espana of Honduras.
“If not for the heroics of Real Espana GK Luis Lopez, the scoreline could have been bigger in Vancouver’s favor,” CONCACAF said.
In particular, it said the Whitecaps scored four goals in the final 31 minutes to all but seal their place in the next round.
Hats off to Bouanga in debut
CONCACAF said “a debut in the SCCL is special for any player, but Los Angeles FC’s Denis Bouanga made it a night to remember, accounting for all three goals in LAFC’s 3-0 win at Alajuelense of Costa Rica.
“Two-and-a-half years after Carlos Vela delivered a superb SCCL in the 2020 edition with five goals, LAFC now have another scoring threat to join forces with Vela to try to lead LAFC on another deep run,” CONCACAF said.