ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – The last time Alajuelense was staring at a 2-0 deficit after the first leg of a CONCACAF club competition, it bounced back to win. But the story didn’t end with that fact.
In the 2014/15 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, the Manudos captured the second leg, 4-2, over the Montreal Impact. Despite the impressive offensive output – including a pair of goals by Pablo Antonio Gabas -- they were eliminated on the away-goals rule.
When Alajuelense hosts Olimpia on Tuesday night in the second leg of their 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League series – this time -- it hopes to win and advance.
"This match is very similar, although the rival changes, to the Montreal Impact,” said Gabas in reference to April 7, 2015, encounter. “In that match, we started losing in the second leg here. We got several goals and we missed scoring the fifth. So we should not allow them to score against us Thursday night, and search, through all the circumstances, to score goals against them.”
In last week’s first leg, Alajuelense conceded in the second minute as veteran forward Carlo Costly found the back of the net after getting behind a pair of defenders. Its deficit grew in the 25th minute, when Kevin Alvarez headed in at the left post.
Gabas warned against another slow start.
"From the first minute we need to be aggressive in everything we are going to do,” the 35-year-old midfielder finished. “From playing a ball to an attack with determination, having things in good clarity, but being very safe in the back.”
The match will be played at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, rather Alajuelense’s usual Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto home.