TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – In its bid to earn a spot in a 10th consecutive Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, Olimpia’s next objective to overcome Alianza in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinals.
The sides will meet in the first leg on Thursday night at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador.
“Alianza is an interesting team, although I know little of them, but we have to be careful and respect them,” said Olimpia head coach Carlos Restrepo. “They are a team that is playing well and we are going to analyze them like other opponents.”
While looking at film, Restrepo will surely take notice of Alianza striker Rodolfo Zelaya.
The 29-year-old El Salvador international followed up his strong 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup performance (1 goal in 4 matches) by scoring one goal in each leg of Alianza’s 4-2 aggregate win over Platense in the SCL Round of 16.
Zelaya is fully rested after sitting out Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Santa Tecla due to suspension.
“You have to understand how they attack,” Restrepo remarked. “It is a team that knows its pitch well. They have a trio up top in Larin, Zelaya and Hinestroza. Three very good players that give a lot of consistency to their offensive set-up.”
In SCL play, Larin has one goal and Hinestroza has contributed with a pair of assists.
“I think Olimpia is not the favorite in this series,” concluded Restrepo. “Alianza comes in playing well. It has put together a strong team for its domestic season. They have five points (1W-2D-0L), so that’s why we want to study them well to go there and get a good result.”