Tuesday 24 April 2018, 11:45

CONCACAF Champions League set to reach its conclusion

  • 2018 CONCACAF Champions League concludes on Wednesday

  • Chivas Guadalajara hold aggregate advantage ahead of second leg

  • Winners will advance to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018​

The 2018 CONCACAF Champions League will conclude on Wednesday, with Club Deportivo (Chivas) Guadalajara in pole position to claim the region’s top club prize after a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC in the first leg in Canada last week.

Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron will be the setting for the decisive leg of this year’s final, with Chivas looking to continue the dominance of Mexican clubs in the competition with a home result. Can their Major League Soccer (MLS) opponents find a way to turn the series around and create history in the process?

FIFA.com previews the second leg.

The match Chivas Guadalajara-Toronto FC, Estadio Akron, Guadalajara, 20:30 (local time)

Guadalajara will feel confident they can complete the job and earn the region’s berth for this year’s FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The Mexican giants successfully negotiated a difficult first leg in cold conditions in Toronto, making a fast start and withstanding spells of pressure from the Canadian outfit to earn a valuable away victory.

Last week’s 2-1 defeat was an opportunity missed for Toronto FC, who had numerous opportunities to score more than once in the contest at BMO Field. They now face the task of needing to score at least two away goals on Wednesday, if they are to become the first non-Mexican club to lift the title.

Player to watch Rodolfo Pizarro (Chivas Guadalajara)

The Chivas attacking midfielder set the tone for this two-legged tie when he struck inside the first two minutes of the first leg, with team-mate Alan Pulido scoring the match winner in the second half after Jonathan Osorio had initially cancelled out Pizarro’s opener.

His energy and work rate was an example of the team effort that Matias Almeyda’s side put into last week’s clash in Toronto, as Guadalajara caught their Canadian hosts off-guard with their positive approach to the game. Chivas will look to Pizarro to put in another influential performance in the home leg and secure Chivas’ first CONCACAF title since 1962.

Did you know? Toronto FC face a tall task to get a result in Guadalajara on Wednesday, as only three MLS clubs have ever won a CONCACAF Champions League match on Mexican soil. They include FC Dallas (2011/12), Seattle Sounders FC (2011/12), and New York Red Bulls (2018).

What they said "We're at half-time. Would we have preferred to come away with a win at home? Absolutely. But we can go there and win too. We're going to regroup, mentally, physically, and get ready to go there and give everything we've got for 90 minutes." Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley