Las Águilas of America qualified for the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League on Wednesday, despite losing 1-0 to Olimpia of Honduras, in a match played at the Azteca Stadium. Jerry Bengtson at 49 scored the only goal of the game for the white Lions of Argentine coach Pedro Troglio, who put the brand Las Águilas of Santiago Solari on the ropes. America qualified 2-2 on aggregate, having won 2-1 on the road a week ago at the National Stadium in Tegucigalpa. He will face the Portland Timbers of the MLS in the next phase of the route that will leave a Concacaf qualifier to the 2021 Club World Cup.
The Olimpia Lions - who were semifinalists in the last championship - began cautious, well structured in their lines, giving the initiative to Las Águilas, who were trying to attack with dominated ball. Little by little the players commanded by Troglio were gaining confidence and went out to try to attack with direct play, which led them to get corner kicks.
Olimpia controlled much of the first half but missed the chances to score. Federico Viñas missed the best of the Aguilas by crashing a header on the post by Edrik Menjivar at minute 27. In the second half Santiago Solari brought in Mario Laínez to try to open the field more, who managed to put a couple of danger centers that they ended up in Menjivar's hands.
Major scare for America
Olimpia began to win in minute 49, with a deep ball from Deybi Flores opening towards Arboleda, who sent the death pass so that Bengtson closed the clamp at 1-0. With the score against, America advanced the ranks, but Olimpia defended well and tried to come out with dominated ball and deep balls. Not being able to get close to Menjivar's goal, Naveda from afar fired a violent shot that the Olympian goalkeeper took when he threw his equines on the horizontal. Benedetti's long free free kick was taken again by the goalkeeper.
In the last quarter of the game, the Central American team made the Mexican representative tremble. Solari made a series of changes to try to control the momentum of the visitors who ended up playing in the opposite field against a team America that ended up asking for the time.