TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – All the right strings were pulled as Olimpia earned a 3-0 win over Real España in the Honduran Apertura on Sunday.
The Leones’ starting line-up was significantly different from the one that fell 1-0 to visiting Santos de Guapiles in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League final opener three days earlier.
Head coach Carlos Restrepo made eight changes, retaining only defenders Jose Tobias and Johnny Palacios, as well as goalkeeper Donis Escober.
“In Olimpia everyone should take advantage of their opportunities and that happened,” the 56-year-old Restrepo said after the game. “Certain players who came in not having many minutes showed that they want to stay with the club.”
Of note were the performances of a pair of 21-year-olds: defender Kevin Alvarez and forward Jorge Benguche. The latter opened the scoring in the 21st minute, before the former doubled the lead seven minutes later.
SCL leading scorer Roger Rojas (5 goals) punctuated the result in second-half stoppage time.
“Every match is distinct and today everything shown was positive for us,” finished Restrepo. “We went out looking for the game with a good attitude and a good team was seen on the field. We made good decisions. Everything went well and you have to congratulate the boys because there were some moments of good football and the things we had planned worked out.”
The SCL final, second leg will be played Thursday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.