MIAMI, Florida – Alajuelense’s home affair with San Francisco in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League Round of 16 on Tuesday night has all of the makings of a Concacaf classic.
Both teams have outstanding pedigrees when it comes to Concacaf competition, having qualified for previous editions of both the SCL and also the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
Yet each side still has a lot to prove, beginning with Alajuelense. The Ticos have watched on in the last two years as domestic rivals Herediano and Deportivo Saprissa have lifted the SCL trophy in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Now in 2020 Alajuelense want to become the third different Costa Rican club to take home SCL honors.
“You have to go game by game, but we are always looking to transcend, we are always looking to reach the final,” said Alajuelense Head Coach Andres Carevic in his pre-mathc press conference on Monday.
“We have to work really hard on what we are doing. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We must go step by step and try to advance a round, but of course we all want to win the title. But the most important thing for us to play a good game tomorrow,” added Carevic.
There is plenty of history that can be made by San Francisco as they begin their 2020 SCL journey.
No team from Panama has ever reached the Final of the SCL, with both Plaza Amador and Arabe Unido coming close with semifinal finishes in previous years.
Competing in their second SCL, San Francisco DF Francisco Palacios is confident that his side can be the team to make history not just for the club, but for all of Panamanian football.
“We are very motivated [to be the first Panamanian club to reach the Final]. It would be something great, something historic as much for the club as the country and for us players to enter into history. We are trying to work hard and we believe that tomorrow we will play a good game,” said Palacios.