TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Olimpia punched their ticket to the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League thanks to a 2-0 win against fellow Honduran side Motagua in a 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League quarterfinal clash on Wednesday night at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
With the result, Olimpia will compete in the SCCL for the 12th time, a record among all clubs in Concacaf, while Motagua seek a sixth SCCL berth in next week’s 2021 SCCL play-in game.
From the first touch the intensity was at a high level, leading to some back-and-forth between the two sides.
Olimpia would strike first, tallying the game’s first goal in the 32’ through Maylor Nunez. A long ball hoofed up-field fell perfectly for the in-stride Nunez, who used his toe to steer a shot past onrushing Motagua GK Jonathan Rougier for a 1-0 Olimpia lead.
Motagua almost had an immediate response in the 39’ with a right-footed Rubilio Castillo shot from the right side of the box that bounced an inch wide of the far post.
Olimpia looked to strike early in the second stanza to put the heat on Motagua, and Deybi Flores duly obliged with a right-footed volley that spun over the head of Rougier and into goal to extend the Olimpia lead to 2-0 in the 54’.
In the previous two rounds, Motagua had to rally from second half deficits to force a draw and a penalty shootout, and they hoped to produce similar magic in the final half-hour against their long-time domestic rivals.
They appeared set to make it a one-goal affair in the 79’, but were denied when Hector Castellanos rang a shot off the crossbar.
Motagua’s comeback task then became a lot tougher a minute later when Gonzalo Klusener received his second yellow card, reducing Motagua to 10 men for the final 10 minutes.
With the man advantage, Olimpia were able to see things out to clinch yet another berth in Concacaf’s premier club tournament.