SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Deportivo Saprissa Head Coach Walter Centeno knows that Thursday’s semifinal first leg in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League against Olimpia of Honduras will not be just another game.
For Centeno, it is a chance to prove that his team is the best in the Central American region.
“Tomorrow (Thursday) we have a super important match, a match that can be called the Central American Classic,” said Centeno in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“We want to win the tournament and so does Olimpia. As I always say, the first match dictates what will happen in the second, so we will be ready from the start,” added Centeno.
Thursday’s clash marks the 12th all-time meeting between the two clubs and the second in San Pedro Sula. Saprissa have five wins, while Olimpia have four, plus two draws.
For Centeno, countering Olimpia’s attacking strengths will be key to achieving a positive result.
“We will try to control them. We know that they are a team with stars up front, a solid midfield and a defense that positions itself well. We know that to play on this field is difficult,” said Centeno.
Sitting alongside Centeno in Wednesday’s session with reporters was FW Johan Venegas, who has been nothing but superb in the 2019 SCL in leading the tournament with six goals.
Venegas believes with both clubs owning such decorated pasts, the two teams will be out to show which one stands tallest.
“I think in the end, you have the stats of the championships that both teams have won, and in the end, history is what dictates things. For the two teams it will be an important match. The four teams that are in this phase are working to win the tournament. If we are here it is because we are the best four teams,” concluded Venegas.