TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – A Carlo Costly header five minutes into second-half stoppage time boosted 10-man Olimpia to a 3-1 victory over visiting Alianza and into the Scotiabank CONCACAF League semifinals at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino on Thursday night.
The Leones captured the quarterfinal, 3-2 on aggregate, and will face Panama’s Plaza Amador in a final-four series next month.
Costly beat goalkeeper Victor Garcia from 12-yards out off a long pass from the left by Alexander Lopez.
Olimpia finished with 10 men after Kevin Alvarez was red-carded in the 86th minute.
The host struck two minutes into the match as Johnny Palacios drilled a long free kick from the left side straight into the goalmouth that Garcia punched away. A scramble ensued and Roger Rojas slipped the ball home for a 1-0 advantage.
Eight minutes after coming on for injured Alianza captain Rodolfo Zelaya, Gustavo Guerreno equalized in the 45th minute, powering a left-footed shot past Olimpia substitute goalkeeper Edrick Menjivar. The 24-year-old custodian Menjivar had replaced starter Donis Escober, who was forced to leave with a 10th-minute injury.
Olimpia went 2-1 in the 55th minute as Costly scored off a long, looping pass from Lopez on the left side, beating Garcia from seven yards to the near post.
Garcia was outstanding, swatting away Rojas' header in the 47th minute, denying the onrushing striker in the 54th minute and palming away Brayan Moya's shot in the 80th minute. Rojas also had two goals called off due to offside in the 59th and 78th minutes.