Competition: CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Second-Leg – DC United vs Alajuelense
Venue: RFK Stadium – Wednesday, March 4 – 20:00 ET (01:00AM GMT Thursday 5)
Match Odds: DC United: 17/20 – Draw: 5/2 – Alajuelense: 14/5
DC United face Alajuelense in the second-leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday night and need to produce something special to overturn the 5-2 defeat in the first-leg last Thursday.
The trip to Costa Rica last week was one DC United will not want to remember as they were thrashed by a relentless Alajuelense who capitalised on numerous defensive mistakes by DCU, with goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra directly at fault for two of the goals in a poor display.
Highlights from last week’s first-leg (via CONCACAF on YouTube):
Regular first-choice shot-stopper Bill Hamid didn’t even make the bench last week as he is thought to still be struggling with a shoulder injury but could return for Wednesday night’s game.
Alajuelense know that they are firmly in the driving seat and despite being the lowest seeded team in the Champions League going into the game last week, the Costa Rican club will now have one eye on the semifinals.
DC United did not justify their number one seed in last week’s game but will expect to turn things around in front of their own fans. The Black and Red need to win by at least three goals to progress, while a clean-sheet would really help their cause.
They did net two away goals but the three-goal deficit means DC need to attack from the word go on Wednesday, and that could suit Alajuelense a lot more as they will look to counter-attack.
The Costa Rican side did not have a league game at the weekend and will come into the second-leg full of energy.
DC United’s last five in the Champions League: W/W/W/W/L
Alajuelense’s last five in the Champions League: D/W/D/D/W
Key Stat: DC United have not conceded a goal in this season’s CONCACAF Champions League at home and will hope that trend continues if they are to advance. Alajuelense have not won away from home in the competition this season.
Key Player: Fabian Espindola – He may be suspended for the start of the 2015 MLS regular season but Espindola can participate in the Champions League and he scored in last week’s tie. He will need to lead the line perfectly if DC United are to progress.
DC United 2-1 Alajuelense – DC United should win the game but reaching the semifinals of the competition after last week’s heavy defeat will be too great a challenge.