A week, they say, is a long time in politics...
It can be an even longer time in football, and with 23 days to go until the Impact next take the field, their opponents CD Olimpia, are in tip-top league form. With a one-goal deficit to claw back, the Impact will be hoping the Lions are peaking way too soon.
This afternoon they thrashed struggling Real Sociedad (not the Spanish one) 5-0 at their Estadio Tiburco Carias Andino. It was a fourth win in-a-row, a run which began with a 2-1 Liga Nacional win over arch-rivals Motagua, the side which heads them by a point at the top of Apertura Group B.
Olimpia has won 6 and drawn 4 of their 10 Liga Nacional games and hammered Managua of Nicaragua 6-0 in the play-off round in the CONCACAF League, the competition in 2019 which gave the Hondurans an avenue into the 2020 Champions League.
Captain and main striker Jerry Bengtson, now 33, who was on target in Stade Olimpique’s first-leg against the Impact, today grabbed his 102nd Liga Nacional goal taking him to third in the all time list.
But one player Luis Binks and Co will not have to worry about on 15 December is his strike partner on that evening, Jorge Benguche, who scored Olimpia’s second goal.
Benguche went on-loan to Portugal’s Boavista in August, a deal that doesn’t expire until June 2021.
Olimpia will be more active than Montreal in the lead-up to the second-leg. By the time the game between the clubs takes place, Olimpia will have played three league matches and a tasty-looking quarter-final in this season’s CONCACAF League quarter-finals (the same competition as CanPL’s Forge FC is competing in) against bitter city-rivals Motagua.
But despite the heavy looking list of commitments for the Hondurans, they will not play in the 9 days preceding the second-leg tie.
Meanwhile the Impact players are expected to self-isolate now for a couple of weeks after returning from New England, which should give them a week’s training before heading south once again to do battle, this time in continental competition.