GUAPILES, Costa Rica – History will mostly be on Santos de Guapiles’ side when it takes the field Thursday for the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL) final, second leg against visiting Olimpia.
In last week’s opener, the Costa Rican side picked up a big 1-0 win on the road, putting it in position to earn its first major trophy with a win or draw at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, as well as qualify for the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL).
Since this is the SCL’s inaugural edition, there's no past on which to look back in order to make predictions and summon memories of great moments.
That being said, if you view the SCL final through the prism of the SCCL era, history favors those teams that earned a first-leg win away from home. It has happened on two occasions, with both winners ultimately going on to secure the championship.
Santos de Guapiles will also be boosted by the fact that second-leg host in SCCL-final play has recorded a mark of 5W-2D-2L.
Here’s a look at the SCCL final facts:
- 2008/09 SCCL final: Atlante defeated host Cruz Azul, 2-0, in Mexico City, before seeing out the series with a 0-0 draw at home in Cancun to become the first-ever champion.
- 2015/16 SCCL final: Visiting Club America topped Tigres, 2-0, in San Nicolas de los Garza, before adding a 2-1 home victory in the second leg to claim its second SCCL crown.
- In the 2011/12 final, Mexico’s Santos became the first and only team to win the second leg as host, but not lift the trophy.
- In the 2009/10 final, Cruz Azul became the first and only team to win the first leg (2-1 home v Pachuca), but lose the second (1-0 away v Pachuca).
- In nine SCCL finals, the second-leg host has lifted the trophy five times.
- In nine SCCL finals, the first-leg host’s record is 2W-5D-2L … of the two teams that won (Monterrey: 2011/12 v Santos & Cruz Azul: 2009/10 v Pachuca), only Monterrey captured the title in 2011/12 (agg: 3-2 v Santos).