24 teams from the 40 CONCACAF member countries qualify for the competition:
12 teams from the 7 UNCAF countries (2 teams each from El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama; and 1 team each from Nicaragua and Belize);
9 teams from the 3 NAFU countries (4 teams each from the United States and Mexico and 1 team from Canada);
3 teams from the 30 CFU countries (3 teams from the CFU Club Championship).
Belize does not enter a team, since the country lacks an adequate stadium. As a result, El Salvador gets a 3rd team in the competition.
24 teams are drawn into 8 groups of 3 teams.
Teams are seeded into 3 pots of 8 teams each, based on their country and ranking from their own championship as follows:
pot A: 2 teams each from the United States and Mexico; and 1 team each from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama;
pot B: 2 teams each from the United States and Mexico; and 1 team each from Canada, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras;
pot C: the 3 CFU representatives; 2 teams from El Salvador and 1 team each from Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua.
Each of the groups consists of one team from each of the three pots.
Teams from the same country cannot be drawn into the same group (does not apply for the additional team from El Salvador that replaces the Belize representative).
Teams from the United States and Mexico cannot be drawn into the same group.
Each team plays the others from its own group twice - home and away - for a total of 4 games each, over 6 game weeks.
3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.
1. points won; 2. points in head-to-head matches; 3. goal difference in hth matches; 4. away goals in hth matches; 5. total goal difference; 6. total goals scored; 7. total away goals scored; 8. draw.
<b>Qualification for the Knockout stage:</b>
1 place of each group: qualify for the Knockout stage
8 teams from the Group stage contest the winner in a knockout format.
Teams are ranked 1st to 8th based on their Group stage record.
8 teams are paired as follows:
1st ranked vs 8th ranked (match 1);
2nd ranked vs 7th ranked (match 2);
3rd ranked vs 6th ranked (match 3);
4th ranked vs 5th ranked (match 4);
Winners are decided over two legs, with the higher ranked teams hosting the second legs.
4 teams are paired as follows:
winner match 1 vs winner match 4 (match A);
winner match 2 vs winner match 3 (match B).
Winners are decided over two legs, with the winners of matches 1 and 2 hosting the second legs.
The two Semi-finals winners meet each other with the winner becoming 2012/2013 CONCACAF Champions League winner.
Winner is decided over two legs, with the winner of match A hosting the second leg.
<b>Tie-breakers for the knockout matches over two legs:</b>
1. aggregate score from the two legs, 2.* away goals, 3. extra time, 4. penalties.
* - the away goals rule does not apply during extra time.
<b>Qualification for FIFA competitions:</b>
winner: 2013 FIFA Club World Cup</p>
|1||J. Lorente (GK)|
|Coach: R. Olivas|
|90' +4||Full time whistle blows and despite some frantic attacking by Real Estelí in the closing stages Alajuelense run out 1-0 winners to lead Group 6.|
|90' +3||The resulting Corner is disappointing and Alajuelense can clear.|
|90' +2||N. Lazo gets yellow.|
|Calero with a last ditched header that Lewis saves. Calero again with a rasping shot that Lewis blocks with his feet.|
|90' +1||J. Gatgens gets yellow.|
|Gatgens receives a yellow card for shirt pulling.|
|90'||Ninety minutes are up and Alajuelense still one goal to the good. Three minutes of added time.|
|88'||Corner to Alajuelense taken short, the ball eventually comes in but the referee spots a foul and Real Estelí will clear up field.|
|87'||Alajuelense win a free kick which is floated in and Lorente collects.|
|85'||The game fizzling out at this juncture, not much on offer in the final third of the field.|
|82'||N. Lazo enters the game and replaces G. Mirazo.|
|Real Estelí are meeting Central American opponents tonight for the first time ever in a CONCACAF Champions League match.|
|80'||J. Ruíz enters the game and replaces M. Rosas.|
|Real Estelí with a driven effort to Lewis' left post but the big man had it covered. Goal kick.|
|76'||Game getting a little scrappy now as we enter the final fifteen minutes. Alajuelense with the all important goal to give them the three points.|
|73'||K. García enters the game and replaces Á. Sánchez.|
|Real Estelí win a free kick around 30-yards out, driven in and Lewis makes a smart stop low down.|
|72'||L. Valle gets yellow.|
|Valle receives a yellow card for a clumsy challenge.|
|71'||Guevara with a corner kick for Alajuelense, but some solid defending from Real Estelí quells the danger.|
|69'||This is Real Estelí’s second match in Group 6 tonight, their first ended in a 4-0 defeat at Tigres UANL.|
|66'||Meneses with a vicious effort from outside the box that whistles just over the bar.|
|65'||J. Gatgens enters the game and replaces D. Calvo.|
|64'||Free kick to Alajuelense finds Sánchez in plenty of room but his shot is weak and Lorente can easily claim.|
|60'||Franklin López enters the game and replaces J. Barrera.|
|This is Alajuelense’s second match in Group 6 tonight, their first ended in a 2-2 home draw with Tigres UANL.|
|58'||Another Meneses cross looks dangerous but Real Estelí clear for a corner. The kick is taken quickly and nothing comes of the attack.|
|55'||Wilson this time with a corner to the near post, too easy for Alajuelense as they clear their lines.|
|53'||Real Estelí trying to conjure up some attacks, Wilson in particular in the thick of things, not much punch up front though from the Nicaraguan's.|
|49'||Anderson Andrade with an effort on goal that is cleared off the line. Super header and an equally super save from Lorente before that goal line clearance.|
|47'||Free kick taken quickly and Anderson Andrade storms in at the near post to try and connect, Real Estelí win a goal kick.|
|46'||P. Gabas enters the game and replaces J. Guzmán.|
|Real Estelí get the second half underway.|
|45' +2||Half time whistle blows and the visitors Alajuelense will take a slender into the break thanks to that 42nd minute Guevara header. All to play for in the second half.|
|45'||Not much happening with that corner as the first half draws to a close.|
|44'||A looping ball into the Alajuelense box almost fools Lewis, he has to make a smart save to concede a corner.|
|42'||A. Guevara has scored a goal for Alajuelense! Assist by C. Meneses.|
|Goal Alajuelense. Meneses with a delightful ball into the box and Guevara with a deft header to give the visitors the lead.|
|40'||S. Wilson gets yellow.|
|That free kick was taken too quickly according to Wilson, he lets the referee know his thoughts and promptly gets booked.|
|39'||Alajuelense win a free kick and Calvo has a decent chance that is put over the bar.|
|34'||Wilson has a shot charged down as Real Estelí spring to life.|
|33'||Real Estelí try to muster something up for themselves but a wayward effort is well wide. Real Estelí now have the ball in the net but once again the linesman's flag is up for offside.|
|31'||Alajuelense hit the bar. Anderson Andrade lays the ball off Guevara who thunders in a shot that smacks off the angle.|
|29'||A teasing ball from Alajuelense to the back post has Lorente stretching to make a punch. The referee spots an infringement and Real Estelí can clear up field.|
|Gabas has half a chance from an acute angle that is into the side netting.|
|26'||Corner to Real Estelí sent in by Barrera and Lewis acrobatically punches clear.|
|24'||Alajuelense with another decent looking cross which Medina clears. Alajuelense knocking on the door here for the first goal.|
|22'||From the corner Alajuelense have the ball in the back of the net but the linesman's flag is up for offside.|
|21'||Short corner to Alajuelense and a vicious shot is pushed out for a second corner.|
|18'||Still no clear cut chances on goal at this juncture. Alajuelense with plenty of possession.|
|15'||Some nice work from Wilson down the left flank, but he is finally hounded out by a trio of Alajuelense defenders.|
|14'||Real Estelí giving the ball away in dangerous positions, Alajuelense unable to take advantage so far.|
|12'||Guevara with a corner kick for Alajuelense, a snap shot from inside the box goes well wide.|
|10'||Guevara with a corner kick for Alajuelense into the 6-yard box but headed just over.|
|9'||A long through ball from Real Estelí almost releases an attacker but Lewis is quick off his line to collect.|
|6'||Quintero with some work to do to quell a good looking Alajuelense attack, Lorente collects and clears up field.|
|5'||Plenty of huff and puff from both teams in these opening minutes, no goal mouth action to talk about.|
|1'||Alajuelense get the first half underway.|
|Welcome to Estadio Independencia, Estelí for tonight’s coverage of the CONCACAF Champions League Group 6 match between Real Estelí from Nicaragua and Alajuelense from Costa Rica.|