Qatar 2020 ticket up for grabs for eight clubs
- Concacaf Champions League 2020 resumes on 15 December
- Mini-tournament hosted in one location in Orlando, Florida
- Champion will represent the region at the FIFA Club World Cup in February 2021
Before the world brings in a new year, there is still meaningful football to look forward to. The Concacaf Champions League 2020 will resume on 15 December, concluding with the final just seven days later. After a nine-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Concacaf have organised a centralised knockout tournament to be played behind closed doors in Orlando, Florida to crown the region’s top club.
Eight clubs will vie for one ticket to represent Concacaf at the FIFA Club World Cup 2020™, to be held from 1 to 11 February, where Al Ahly, the AFC Champions League winner, Bayern Munich, Auckland City and the Copa Libertadores winner await.
Competition schedule (EST)
Tuesday 15 December
20:00 Olimpia – Montreal (2-1 agg)
22:30 Tigres – NYCFC (1-0 agg)
Wednesday 16 December
20:00 Atlanta United – Club America (0-3 agg)
22:30 LAFC – Cruz Azul (single leg)
Saturday December 19
20:00 Winner of Olimpia-Montreal v Winner of Tigres-NYCFC
22:30 Winner of Atlanta United-Club America v LAFC-Cruz Azul
Tuesday December 22
22:00 Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2
New champion guaranteed
There will be a new champion this year as holders Monterrey did not participate in the 2020 edition of the Champions League. However there are still plenty of teams remaining with tournament pedigree. Record champions Club America (7) are in the strongest position heading into the quarter-finals after their dominant 3-0 win over Atlanta in the first leg on 12 March.
Head coach Thierry Henry’s Montreal Impact will face Honduran giants Olimpia, who have a 2-1 advantage going into the second leg. Olimpia will be buoyed by defeating MLS champions Seattle Sounders in the Round of 16 on penalties. Head coach Pedro Troglio’s charges will be inspired to become the first club from Honduras to reach the last four of the competition.
Will it be fourth time’s a charm for Tigres? UANL have reached three of the last four Champions League finals and agonisingly lost all three, with the most recent two by just one goal on aggregate. The first team in their way will be NYCFC, who they edged 1-0 in the first leg back in March thanks to a stoppage-time winner scored by Chile star Eduardo Vargas. However, UANL will be without Vargas for the second leg as he has since moved to play for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.
The competition was postponed before LAFC and Cruz Azul got to play their first leg, so their quarter-final tie will now be decided by one match. 2014 champions Cruz Azul will be needing to pick their heads up quickly having dropped the Liga MX Apertura semi-final to Pumas in heartbreaking fashion having led after the first leg 4-0. Bob Bradley’s LAFC for their part are also needing a boost after a disappointing 3-1 defeat by Seattle in the first round of MLS play-offs in the Western Conference.
Players to watch
There will be several players to watch throughout the competition, including LAFC’s 2019 MLS Golden Boot winner Carlos Vela and 2020 MLS Golden Boot winner Diego Rossi. Andre-Pierre Gignac, who was nominated for The FIFA Puskás Award 2020, will star up front for Tigres. Exciting, young midfielders like Sebastian Cordova (Club America) and Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United) will lace up their boots, while Michaell Chirinos is one to watch for Olimpia.
How to watch
From Concacaf: Although the game will be played behind closed doors, matches will be widely available for fans across the region to follow and enjoy through the Confederation’s TV partner networks, including FOX Sports (USA-English), TUDN (USA-Spanish), Fox Sports Latin America (Mexico-Spanish), ESPN (Central America-Spanish), TSN and RDS (Canada-English and French), Flow Sports (Caribbean-English) and other local partners.
Source: FIFA Football