Managua vs Real Esteli Leg 2

Pablo Gallego has played for teams in Spain, Greec, Albania and Nicaragua

Striker Pablo Gallego (centre) scored the equalizer for Managua in the 1-1 draw against Real Esteli and will now hope to be on target again in the second leg of the Nicaragua Primera Liga Clausura playoff final. Photo from @Managua_FC (Twitter)

  • Managua host Real Esteli in return leg of Clausura playoff final
  • Home side have form advantage after 1-1 draw in opening game
  • See all odds and best bets for Nicaragua Clausura playoff final

Nicaragua’s soccer championship will be decided on Saturday when Managua meets Real Esteli in the second leg of the Primera Liga Clausura competition playoff final.

Top-level football has continued in the Central American republic in defiance of the coronavirus pandemic which has shut down the game in most of the rest of the world.

The teams drew 1-1 in the first leg of the playoff final at the home of Real Esteli on Saturday.

The oddsmakers make Managua favorites to win the tie in regulation -105 with Real Esteli at +295. The draw over 90 minutes is priced at +220.

Managua vs Real Esteli Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Managua 0, -0.5 (-140) -105 O 2.0 (-120)
Real Esteli 0, +0.5 (EVEN) +295 U 2.0 (-110)
Draw N/A +220 N/A

Odds taken May 4

Matches in the Nicaraguan Primera Liga have been played behind closed doors and some fearful players have admitted they are attempting somehow to limit physical contact on the pitch.

The second leg kicks off at 9:00 pm EST on Saturday, May 9 at the Estadio Nacional.

Real Esteli took the lead in the first leg with a 65th-minute goal from Marlon Lopez. But Managua’s star forward Pablo Gallego leveled the scores just four minutes later.

The game was tight and bitterly contested with Managua managing only four shots on target and Real Esteli producing just three such attempts.

Littered With Fouls

There were 27 fouls committed by the visitors with 22 awarded against Real Esteli.

It was Esteli who appeared to have been the more adventurous side over the 90 minutes as they racked up seven corners compared to two for Managua.

Esteli also put seven shots wide while Managua produced only one.

However, Managua are likely to adopt a more attacking approach on their own home patch.

They were undefeated at home in the capital city as they ran out on top of the 10-team regular season table.

In total on their home turf during the regular season, Managua  won eight times and drew once.

They were also the most prolific goalscorers at home in the regular season – scoring 24 times while conceding only eight goals.

In total on their home turf during the regular season, Managua won eight times and drew once.

In their last home match, they ran out 4-2 winners in the playoff semifinal second leg against Walter Ferretti following a 0-0 draw in the away tie.

The draw in the first leg of the final extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches.

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Unbeaten in Seven Games

Real Esteli finished second in the regular season table and are now undefeated in their past seven games.

These two sides drew 1-1 in the regular season fixture at Managua in early April. There had been a 2-0 win for Managua away at Real Esteli in February.

Against Managua’s impressive home form, Real Esteli had the best away record in the regular season.

They won five times, drew twice and lost twice. They scored 12 times and conceded eight goals on the road.

They were then successful away from home when they defeated Diriangen 1-0 in the first leg of the semifinal playoff – before advancing thanks to a 0-0 draw in the second leg.

This final is a re-run of the conclusion of the Apertura section of the 2019/20 season in which Real Esteli defeated Managua 2-1 on aggregate.

Each campaign in Nicaragua is split into two parts with the Apertura taking place between August and December and the Clausura running from January until May.

The three previous finals in the nation’s two-section league system have been contested by these two teams.

Managua took the first advantage in the last winter’s Apertura final with a 1-0 first leg win at home. But they then lost 2-0 in the return leg.

Before their triumph in the 2019/20 Apertura, Real Esteli won the 2018-19 Clausura with a close-run defeat of Managua.

There was a free-scoring first leg which produced a 3-3 draw at Managua’s HQ. Esteli then won the championship on the away goals rule after a 0-0 draw in the return game.

Managua won the 2018-19 Apertura title with a 1-0 aggregate win over Real Esteli.

After a 0-0 stalemate at Esteli, the prize went to Managua thanks to a 1-0 win in the return meeting.

Pick: Managua -105

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