SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Olimpia earned a berth in the first-ever Scotiabank CONCACAF League final after rallying for a 1-1 draw with visiting Plaza Amador in the second leg of their semifinal series on Thursday at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
The 30-time Honduran champion advanced 8-2 on aggregate and will compete in an international final for the first time since 2000, when it fell to the LA Galaxy (3-2 in a single-game final) to finish as runner-up in the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.
Plaza Amador kept alive its hopes of a historic comeback in the 20th minute as Marlon Avila rounded goalkeeper Donis Escober in the box and lifted a pass from the left-goal line towards the middle of the box. An unmarked Jose Murillo kept his composure to first-time a left-footed shot into an empty net to give the Panamanian power a 1-0 lead.
Olimpia leveled in the 81st minute thanks to some slick play from Roger Rojas, who seized sole possession of the top spot on the scoring chart. The forward took a slick touch to settle a feed from Michael Chirinos, opening up and eluding a defender, before netting just inside the left post with his right foot from 11-yards out. It was the Rojas' fifth goal of the competition.
Plaza Amador contested the last seven minutes of normal time down a man following Daniel Blanco's ejection for a second yellow card.
Santos de Guapiles or Arabe Unido will be Olimpia’s opponent in the two-legged final next month. The winner will secure a place in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL). Olimpia is the only team to appear in all nine previous editions of that competition.