After the first match-day of the final round of the group stage of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League, we have a slightly clearer picture of the quarterfinal round. Slightly.
As expected, Arabe Unido beat Don Bosco to sail into the knockout rounds with 12 points.
But CCL's Panamanian surprise did not get the three-goal win it needed to edge Vancouver Whitecaps in the seedings for the quarterfinals. So we know the 'Caps will be ranked above Arabe Unido. Whether that is the top seed or the two-seed depends on the outcome of the match between Pachuca and Olimpia, to be played on October 19.
If Pachuca wins, then Pachuca is the top seed (on goal difference) for next year's quarterfinals; followed by Vancouver, followed by Arabe Unido. Any result other than a Pachuca win, and Vancouver takes top spot in the seedings, followed by Panama's lone representative in the knockout rounds.
In the other game of significance to the quarterfinals, Tigres breezed by Herediano in an anticlimactic finale to Group G.
The 3-0 win does Tigres' goal difference some good, and perhaps makes it favorite for the fourth seed in the quarterfinal round.
UNAM Pumas now need a four-goal win over W Connection on October 20 to get a higher seed than Tigres. Not an impossible task, but the Trinidadian side has managed to keep its results respectable so far in the competition.
In the dead-rubber match in Group F, Alianza's Oscar Guerrero picked up a hat-trick to hand his side an away win over Antigua:
Still two days of games to play to confirm the match-ups for the CCL 2016-17 quarterfinals, but the picture is filling in gradually. An update on OaM's predicted quarterfinalists rankings (teams in bold have confirmed points totals and knockout round berths; no seedings are confirmed yet):
And based on that information, an updated prediction for the quarterfinals match-ups:
1. Vancouver Whitecaps vs 8. FC Dallas
2. Arabe Unido vs 7. New York Red Bulls
3. Pachuca vs 6. Saprissa
4. UANL Tigres vs 5. UNAM Pumas