Orlando City hopes to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals as they host Tigres UANL in the second leg of the series. The teams are coming off of a 0-0 draw at University Stadium.
Starting off their 2023 MLS campaign with five points in three games, Orlando City will now look to continue that form in the CONCACAF Champions League. However, Tigres won’t be easy to dispatch.
Currently sitting 3rd in the Liga MX table, just seven points off first place, the Mexican side is looking to grab their second CCL title in three years. If the first game of the tie was any indication of how the second might go, then both sides have a good chance of advancing.
When is kick off? Wednesday, March 15th, 8:15PM EST
Where is the match being played? Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida, United States
TV channel/live stream? Fox Sports 2 HD, FS2, TUDN (US), Fox Sports (Mexico)
What time does TV coverage start? 8:00PM EST
Referee? Hector Said Martinez Sorto
Orlando will likely be without center-back Antonio Carlos, who’s still recovering from a leg injury. In his place will probably be Rodrigo Schlegel to pair alongside Robin Jansson and Kyle Smith.
Beyond injuries, the Eastern Conference team has seen a decent start to their 2023 MLS campaign, managing one victory and two draws. Head coach Oscar Pareja will likely deploy a strong starting 11, needing the win to advance.
Tigres will head into the match against Orlando City a bit vulnerable. The team is coming off a disappointing 2-0 loss to Club America. Though they’ll look to regain that form with a CCL win in Orlando, it will not be easy without one of their best players Andre-Pierre Gignac. The French forward will not travel with the team due to personal reasons, avoiding the United States once more as he has done on previous occasions.
Interim Head coach Chima Ruiz will have to depend on Diego Lainez, Sebastian Cordova and Fernando Gorririan on the attack instead.
While both sides are looking to advance, the edge has to go to Tigres.
Exploria Stadium may be a challenging place to play with the rowdy fans and Florida humidity, but Tigres has won the competition before and will know how to get through those difficulties.
Tigres also has better depth, which will be advantageous if players begin to cramp up due to the humidity and tough tackling on the field.
Prediction: Tigres 2-1 Orlando
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