The goals of Carlo Costly (white jersey) were key to Olimpia’s run to the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League title.
CONCACAF.com is taking a look back at the most interesting items from throughout the Confederation over the previous 12 months.
CONCACAF 2017: FIVE OF THE BEST CONCACAF LEAGUE PLAYER PERFORMANCES
#1: Carlo Costly, OLIMPIA; home v Alianza (Quarterfinals, Second Leg)
August 24, 2017 -- Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino/Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Carlo Costly’s two goals gave Olimpia a 3-1 over visiting Alianza in the quarterfinal, second-leg encounter, sending the Leones into the semifinals, 3-2 on aggregate. The host took a 2-1 lead in the 55th minute as Costly scored with a wonderfully taken left-footed shot from the left side of the box off a long, looping pass from Alexander Lopez. Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Lopez again found the 35-year-old forward, who bounced a header into the net from nine-yards out for the series clincher.
#2 Roger Rojas, OLIMPIA; away v Plaza Amador (Semifinals, First Leg)
September 14, 2017 – Estadio Rommel Fernandez/Panama City, Panama)
Roger Rojas finished as the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League’s top scorer with five goals, two of which came in Olimpia’s 7-1 win over host Plaza Amador. He put the Leones ahead 3-0 in the 28th minute, running onto Alexander Lopez’s through ball and beating goalkeeper Eric Hughes from 15-yards out. In the 65th minute, Rojas was released down the middle by Brayan Moya to fire past a charging Hughes with his right foot from 22-yards out. The 27-year-old forward also assisted on Michael Chirinos’ goal in the 68th minute.
#3: Rodolfo Zelaya, ALIANZA; away v Platense (Round of 16, First Leg)
August 2, 2017 – Estadio Excelsior/Puerto Cortes, Honduras
As the latter stages of the second half approached, Zelaya gave visiting Alianza a 1-0 lead in the 72nd minute, poking home with the outside of his right foot from eight-yards out. Platense leveled in the 85th minute through Brunet Hay, but – three minutes later -- Zelaya set-up Juan Portillo for the game-winner as the Albos won, 2-1.
#4: Jose Bernardo Laureiro, WALTER FERRETTI; home v Belmopan Bandits (Round of 16, First Leg)
August 3, 2017 – Estadio Independencia/Esteli, Nicaragua
Jose Bernardo Laureiro became the first player to score two goals in a Scotiabank CONCACAF League game as Walter Ferretti won 4-1 over visiting Belmopan Bandits. The 25-year-old Uruguayan made it 2-0 for the host in the 75th minute, when he fired in a left-footed shot from 15 yards off a Robinson Da Silva feed. Laureiro completed the 4-1 scoreline in the second minute of stoppage time, finishing Jorge Garcia’s pass with a neat back-heel from the edge of the six-yard box.
#5: Carlos Small, ARABE UNIDO; away v Aguila (Quarterfinals, First Leg)
August 16, 2017 -- Estadio Cuscatlan/San Salvador, El Salvador
Sometimes, goals in the first leg of a series are just as important as those in the second. Carlos Small proved that supposition, scoring both goals in a 2-0 quarterfinal, first-leg win over Aguila as Arabe Unido ultimately progressed 2-1 on aggregate. Only 23 seconds after he replaced Renan Addles at halftime, Small drilled a shot from the top of the box that goalkeeper Benji Villalobos couldn’t control as it trickled into the lower right corner of the net. The 22-year-old forward struck again in the 82nd minute, chesting down Rigoberto Nino’s cross and depositing the ball into the net from seven-yards out.