A first half strike from Edwin Solano powered CD Marathon of Honduras to a 1-0 victory over Forge FC of Canada in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League Play-In match on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The result qualifies the Catracho club for the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, which will be Marathon’s sixth appearance in the tournament and their first since 2019.
It was a strong start from the hosts and Forge GK Triston Henry was called into action early to bat away an Allan Banegas corner kick that looked destined to curl into goal. That was followed by a chance for Kervin Arriaga, but Henry again was there to make the save.
But there was nothing the Canadian shot-stopper could do to prevent Solano from breaking the deadlock in the 18’, as a header off a free kick was initially blocked by Henry, only to see Solano pounce on the rebound and score to make it 1-0 to Marathon.
Forge looked to respond in the second half and Molham Babouli was about an inch away from getting the equalizer just after the re-start, but was left in disbelief when his shot from near-range struck the crossbar and bounced out.
Forge committed more numbers forward in search of a goal, but the comeback task became a lot tougher in the 85’ when Kyle Bekker was sent off, reducing Forge to 10 men.
Marathon used the man advantage to control things the rest of the way to nail down the victory and a spot in next year’s SCCL.