Olimpia closes in on SCCL objective
Olimpia players (pictured) convene for a team photo prior to their Scotiabank CONCACAF League semifinal, second leg against visiting Plaza Amador on September 22, 2017, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Olimpia stayed on course to earn a place in a 10th consecutive Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL), after eliminating Plaza Amador at the semifinal stage of the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL), 8-2 on aggregate.

The sides played to a 1-1 draw Thursday in the second leg at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, but last week’s 7-1 series opening win on the road left the Honduran power in a more than comfortable position.

It will mark the Leones’ first appearance in a CONCACAF final since 2000, when they fell 3-2 to the LA Galaxy in the Champions’ Cup single-game decider.  According to head coach Carlos Restrepo, the desire to bring home an international trophy – and return to the SCCL -- burns intensely.

“There is a motivation and the boys are going to fight to put Olimpia in the Champions League,” the 56-year-old Colombian said in his post-match press conference.  “We are already working on the players’ minds.  They are the ones who have the possibility of a title, not only to win that cup, but to go to the Champions League and get an international honor that the team deserves.”

Standing in the way of those goals will be Santos de Guapiles, which prevailed over Arabe Unido in the other semifinal, 1-0 on aggregate.  The Costa Rican side has posted shutouts in its last four SCL outings.

“The objective is to continue working,” finished Restrepo, who’s in his second stint as Olimpia’s manager.  “Fortunately, now comes the final, which is the last objective that we had plotted and to come out of these matches hopefully as champions.”

Olimpia will host the final, first leg on October 19.