TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Olimpia head coach Carlos Restrepo hailed the comeback spirit demonstrated by his team in Thursday’s 3-1 Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinal, second-leg win over visiting Alianza.
It was a match that will long live in CONCACAF lore, as Carlo Costly dramatically struck in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to earn the Honduran power a 3-2 aggregate triumph and a spot in the semifinals against Plaza Amador.
“I think that we created a lot of options,” said Restrepo. “Fortunately, we kept insisting. We created chances until the third goal came for us. I think it is the product of the entire team’s initiative. I congratulate my team for the effort.”
The victory keeps alive Olimpia’s chances of a 10th straight appearance in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. For a time on Thursday, however, it looked like that streak would come to an end.
Alianza equalized at 1-1 in the 45th minute, meaning Olimpia needed to score twice in the second half to advance, while not conceding any additional goals.
Restrepo acknowledged that he had to roll the dice by bringing on attackers Javier Estupiñan and Brayan Moya for midfielders Luis Garrido and Gerson Rodas.
“In the second half, we were obligated to make those changes to look for the match, knowing that in risking anything can happen,” the 56-year-old Colombian remarked. “I think that the team reacted well. We took more of the ball. We got into the game and we earned the second goal.”