Restrepo expects improved Olimpia in Honduran playoffs

Head coach Carlos Restrepo (left) led Olimpia to the 2017 CONCACAF League title.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Olimpia rallied twice from single-goal deficits to draw 2-2 with UPNFM in the first leg of their 2017 Honduran Apertura playoff for a semifinal berth on Wednesday at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino.

Goals by Javier Estupiñan (54’) and Alexander Lopez (86’ pen) countered strikes from Mayron Flores (36’) and Ronald Montoya (82’).

It was both sides’ first game in two weeks due to political conflict in the country.

“I did not see [my players] as motivated and we came out very cold,” said Olimpia head coach Carlos Restrepo. “In the first half, they had the ball and intended to dominate. We played very slow and we saw that it favored them in terms of motivation.

“In the second half, Olimpia improved. I think from start to finish it was close and the series is there for either team. Hopefully, we can be more consistent.”

By virtue of having a better regular-season record, Olimpia will progress with a draw in Saturday’s second leg, but it will be without Lopez, who was red carded after his goal.

Restrepo, however, does not plan on the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League champion taking a conservative approach.

“Playing on the edge for a draw is dangerous,” he finished. “Despite the rules helping you, it cannot be a premise to play a match like that. Matches are to be sought and won. That is how we’ll come out on Saturday. I think that we should have an expectation and that the team should improve.”


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