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' +3||It's full time in Nicaragua. Real Estelí were close to victory but are instead knocked out of the tournament. Tigres get a point but know that a win over Alajuelense in the final group game will likely be needed to finish at the top of the group.|
|90' +2||The current result leaves Real Estelí eliminated from the tournament.|
|90' +1||F. Acuña gets yellow.|
|Acuña goes down in the penalty area but is booked for simulation.|
|90'||Goal Tigres. The Mexicans finally get the goal they've been looking for. Acosta rushes down the left wing and finds Espericueta. The substitute's following effort on goal rolls in at the left post.|
|89'||J. Espericueta has scored a goal for Tigres UANL! Assist by A. Acosta.|
|88'||J. Ruíz enters the game and replaces Franklin López.|
|Real Estelí manager Olivas makes his final change. Tigres still have one substitution left.|
|87'||Toledo tries to reach a teammate in the box but Lorente does well to intervene and collects the ball.|
|84'||Edno tries a shot from the edge of the area but a defender gets in the way. The following corner kick comes to nothing.|
|83'||A corner kick to Tigres is swung in dangerously but cleared by the defense.|
|80'||Franklin López gets yellow.|
|A cross is delivered into the area by Acosta but it's headed wide for a goal kick. Seconds earlier, Franklin López was booked for protesting.|
|77'||Barrera's replacement for the final minutes of the match is Lazo.|
|76'||J. Barrera gets yellow.|
|Barrera is done for the day but is slow to walk to the sideline, with a yellow card as result.|
|75'||N. Lazo enters the game and replaces J. Barrera.|
|73'||Big opportunity for Tigres as Guarch heads on goal but Lorente makes an impressive save.|
|72'||Guarch tries a diagonal shot on goal from inside the area but it's blocked by a defender.|
|70'||A Tigres free kick near the corner flag is delivered into the box, punched away by Lorente but picked up by a forward. The eventual effort misses the target. Meanwhile, Stringel is replaced by Espericueta.|
|69'||J. Espericueta enters the game and replaces A. Stringel.|
|67'||Alan Pulido with the perfect opportunity to level but the forward forgets to shoot on goal from close range and instead complicates things for himself.|
|65'||Acosta finds a way into the area on the left side but shoots from an impossible angle. It's easily parried by goalkeeper Lorente.|
|62'||The previous game between these two sides, played in Mexico, featured a much more dominant Tigres side that ended up winning 4-0.|
|59'||Tigres continue to attack but Real Estelí are in control defensively.|
|56'||Felix Rodríguez commits a foul and is booked by referee Guerra. Seconds later, Tigres manager Ferretti makes his first change of the match.|
|55'||F. Acuña enters the game and replaces J. Bornstein.|
|F. Rodríguez gets yellow.|
|All pressure is now on Tigres to do something back. A defeat today would jeopardize the Mexicans' chances of finishing top of the group.|
|53'||J. Barrera has scored a goal for Real Estelí! Assist by Franklin López.|
|Goal Real Estelí. Franklin López delivers a corner kick and Juan Barrera heads it past Tigres' goalkeeper to put the home side in the lead.|
|51'||Tigres get a free kick on the right wing. It's swung into the box but causes no danger. Goal kick.|
|50'||The first five minutes of the second half have been rather uneventful.|
|47'||Earlier we mentioned that defeat would mean elimination to Real Estelí. A draw would in fact end their Champions League hopes as well.|
|46'||The second half is under way at Real Estelí - Tigres UANL.|
|45' +1||It's half time in Nicaragua. Both sides had chances to open the scoring in this half, Tigres having the best opportunity early on as Toledo had a shot hit the woodwork.|
|45'||There will be one additional minute at the end of this half.|
|44'||Real Estelí look more determined to attack in the final minutes of this half but fail to create much danger.|
|41'||About five minutes left in this half and neither side has managed to find the breakthrough.|
|39'||Tigres get a free kick near the right corner flag. It's delivered into the area and eventually cleared. The following counter-attack by Estelí leads to nothing.|
|36'||J. Dueñas gets yellow.|
|Yellow card to Dueñas for a foul on Calero who came rushing down the left wing.|
|33'||More danger near the Tigres goal as a header on target is saved by the goalkeeper, who does need a second touch to fully control the ball.|
|32'||A free kick on the left wing, close to midfield, is delivered into the Tigres box but easily collected by goalkeeper Díaz de León.|
|31'||Tigres continue to look for a way through the opposing defense but without success, so far.|
|28'||Tigres beat Real Estelí earlier in this tournament but were held to a draw by Alajuelense, making tonight's game particularly vital.|
|26'||Real Estelí have yet to score a goal in this tournament. The Nicaraguans failed to score in the previous two games but did concede five goals.|
|24'||The second corner kick comes to nothing. End-to-end play here in Nicaragua.|
|23'||Real Estelí get a corner kick and it's cleared for yet another, this time from the other side.|
|20'||R. Quintero gets yellow.|
|Quintero fouls an opponent and is yellow-carded.|
|19'||Some pressure now from Tigres but for the moment, Estelí are holding on.|
|17'||An Estelí free kick on the left wing is swung into the area and headed behind for a corner kick. In the aftermath of the latter, a powerful strike from Gabriel Mirazo goes just high of the bar.|
|15'||S. Garcia enters the game and replaces M. Medina.|
|Real Estelí are indeed forced to make an early change as Medina cannot continue.|
|14'||Toledo tries yet another shot and this time his volley from outside the area goes just wide of the target.|
|12'||Marlon Medina may have to come off as the Estelí player suffered a leg injury and needs treatment.|
|11'||The match has settled down a little as the battle mostly takes place in midfield.|
|9'||For Real Estelí, defeat today would make it impossible for the Nicaragua outfit to advance to the next phase.|
|7'||Tigres are currently in first place in Group 6 and a win today would take the Mexicans a lot closer to the next round.|
|4'||Toledo tries a shot from far out and hits the right post. Very close there from the Tigres player.|
|2'||Alan Pulido commits a foul in midfield and the hosts get a free kick.|
|1'||The first half is under way.|
|Welcome to tonight's live coverage of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage match between Real Estelí of Nicaragua and Tigres UANL of Mexico. The setting for this encounter is Estelí's Estadio Independencia.|