Monarcas Morelia of Mexico and Motagua of Honduras took commanding leads last night in their respective CONCACAF Champions Preliminary Round series. Monarcas walloped Tempete FC of Haiti, 5-0, while Motagua easily beat a 10-man CSD Municipal of Guatemala, 4-0.
The winners of each series will be placed with the LA Galaxy and LD Alajuelense in Group A. The winner of the Motagua-Municipal series will be the Galaxy's first opponent in the Group Stage on Aug. 16 at The Home Depot Center.
Both Morelia and Motagua were the home teams for the first-leg of their series, and both went into their locker room at halftime up 1-0. While the games were close in the first half, the second half proved to be a different story.
In Morelia, Mexico, Mexican national team forward Miguel Sabah scored the first of four second-half goal in the 63rd minute. Joao Rojas (67'), Angel Sepulveda (70') and Jaime Lozano (76') added to the final score. Defender Joel Huiqui scored the game-winner in 15th minute.
In Tegulcigalpa, Honduras, Honduran national team forward Jerry Bengston and former MLS MVP Amado Guevara led the way for Motagua with one goal each. Bengston's goal in the 42nd minute was the beginning of a wild end to the first half, which culminated in Municipal forward Eliseo Quintanilla, their leading goal scorer, being sent off with a red card. In the second half, things just got worse for Municipal as Odin Rojas (56'), Guevara (69') and former Galaxy midfielder Guillermo "Pando" Ramirez (76') found the back of the net.
Next up, Tempete will play Morelia on Wednesday, August 3 while Municipal will host Motagua on Thursday, August 4 in Game 2 of their CONCACAF Champions Preliminary Round series.