Columbus Crew SC faces Real Esteli FC on the road tonight, Thursday, April 8 for a nationally-televised 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match [8:00 p.m. ET / FS1, TUDN]. Set to take place at Estadio Nacional de futbol de Nicaragua in Managua, Nicaragua. tonight’s contest is the first of two matches, with the Second Leg set to be held at Historic Crew Stadium on Thursday, April 15.
TONIGHT'S LINEUP VS. REAL ESTELI FC
Tonight’s match is set to be Crew SC’s first Concacaf Champions League contest since reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2011. The Club qualified to this year’s edition of the tournament by virtue of winning the 2020 MLS Cup. The Crew previously participated in the 2009-2010 and the 2010-2011 editions of the tournament, advancing to the Quarterfinals on both occasions. The Black & Gold have an all-time record of 6-6-4 in Concacaf Champions League action.
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Real Esteli FC has won the last three Nicaraguan first division tournaments, including two Clausura tournaments (2019, 2020) and one Apertura tournament (2019). Real Esteli FC defeated Honduran side FC Motagua in the play-in round of the 2020 Concacaf League to secure a berth in the 2021 Concacaf Scotiabank Champions League – the club’s seventh appearance in the tournament.
The winner of the two legs of the Round of 16 will be determined by aggregate scoring. Should Crew SC advance to the Quarterfinals of the tournament, it would face the winner of the Round of 16 matchup between CF Monterrey (Mexico) and Club Atletico Pantoja (Dominican Republic) across two legs. Notably, the winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League will secure a berth in the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. The full list of 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 fixtures can be viewed via Concacaf.com.