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FC Motagua update: a tougher opponent than anticipated?

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Keeping tabs on Atlanta United’s Champions League opponents.

FBL-CONCACAF-SAPRISSA-MOTAGUA Photo by EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images

Atlanta United’s CONCACAF Champions league opener against Honduras’ FC Motagua on Februrary 18 appears, like last year, to be a tougher match-up than at first glance.

The Liga Nacional de Honduras saw FC Motagua host league rivals Marathón this weekend in the Clásico de las M’s. The sides shared the points in a 1-1 draw after a late equalizer by Marathón in the 85th minute.

Heading into this fixture, Motagua was first in the league having won both of their opening games in the Liga Nacional Clausura. The draw keeps them in first place on seven points heading into next matchweek.

From the Blue Cyclone’s opening two games, the side scored five goals while goalkeeper Jonathan Rougier kept a clean sheet in each match. Marco Vega leads the team’s attack having scored in each of the opening two fixtures.

Conceding one goal from three games while scoring five is a great start to any campaign. Though it’s early days in the domestic league, the side is already showing its strength in both the attack and defense.

What this means for Atlanta, who plays the first leg in Honduras, is that the Five Stripes cannot afford to make mistakes and will need to search for away goals going forward.

Motagua will have played almost half of their league games in the Clausura by the time they play Atlanta. Fitness will definitely play a factor as it always does for MLS sides in the competition.

Motagua’s next game is Wednesday when the side travels to La Ceiba to face C.D.S Vida.