SAN PEDRO SULA – Jorge Benguche bagged a brace as part of a three-goal second half to lead Olimpia of Honduras to a 4-1 triumph over Liga MX side Atlas in the first leg of the 2023 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday night at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
With the result, Olimpia have won their last two SCCL matches against Mexican clubs, previously defeating Club America 1-0 in the second leg of the 2021 SCCL Round of 16.
An electric atmosphere greeted the two sides, and it was Atlas almost getting the game’s first goal inside the third minute, only to see Olimpia GK Edrick Menjivar make a superb stretch save to keep it scoreless.
The deadlock did not last long though, as Olimpia’s Kevin Lopez latched onto a ball through the area and beat Atlas GK Camilo Vargas to hand the home side a 1-0 lead in the 10’.
The Olimpia goal forced Atlas to respond and it came in immediate fashion through Julio Furch, with the former Santos Laguna man evening things up at 1-1 in the 15’ via a powerful penalty conversion.
⚽ ¡Julio Furch convierte un penal y anota el primer gol de Los Rojinegros en la historia de la Liga de Campeones Concacaf Scotiabank!— Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (@TheChampions) March 9, 2023
🔴⚫ @AtlasFC 1️⃣-1️⃣ @CDOlimpia 🦁 | #SCCL23 pic.twitter.com/M3tfvNqoSD
The intensity only increased to start the second half and Olimpia were able to retake the lead, 2-1, in the 55’ through the hard work of Jorge Benguche, who received a pass from Jorge Alvarez while muscling off a defender and finishing past Vargas for the goal.
Only a minute later Olimpia looked destined to add a third goal on a volley through Jose Pinto, but Vargas made a sensational reaction save. However, the Vargas save led to an Atlas foul on Olimpia FW Jerry Bengtson in the area, resulting in a penalty. From the spot, Bengtson left no doubts and fired into goal for a 3-1 Olimpia advantage.
The best was yet to come for Olimpia, though, as another pass into Benguche led to the 26-year-old FW racing past the defense and floating an exquisite chip over Vargas to extend the Olimpia lead to 4-1 in the 73’.
From there, the Olimpia defense took over to keep Atlas from picking up another away goal, capping a memorable night for the Honduran club.