Alajuelense to face CD Olimpia in CONCACAF semifinals

In just their second ever Scotiabank Concacaf League appearance, the Manudos have reached the semifinals after posting three consecutive wins.

Alajuelense defeated Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic 3-0 in the Preliminary Round, Panama’s San Francisco 1-0 in the Round of 16 and Nicaraguan side Real Esteli 2-1 in the quarterfinals to reach the final four of the 2020 SCL.

(Alajuelense vs Real Esteli FC)

The victory against the Pinoleros also qualified Alajuelense for their first Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League since the 2014/15 edition.

But reaching the semifinal stage of a Concacaf tournament is nothing new for Alajuelense.

After previously appearing in the 2008/09, 2011/12 and 2012/13 SCCLs, Alajuelense took a big step forward in the 2013/14 edition by finishing as a semifinalist.

The Ticos overcame Concacaf’s most decorated club, Mexico’s Club America, along with Panama’s Sporting San Miguelito in the group stage to set up a quarterfinal date with another Panamanian side, Arabe Unido.

A 2-0 aggregate victory sent Alajuelense to the semifinals where they were eliminated by Mexican club Toluca 3-0 on aggregate.

Nevertheless, it was an impressive performance, as Alajuelense became just the second Central American club to advance to the final four of the tournament (Saprissa, 2010/11).

(CD Olimpia vs FC Motagua)

A year later in the 2014/15 SCCL, Alajuelense would repeat that feat in style. Drawn with defending SCCL champions Cruz Azul of Mexico and Panama’s Chorrillo in the group stage, Alajuelense emerged as the group winner.

In the quarterfinals, Alajuelense played some breathtaking football in a 6-4 aggregate win over DC United to once again book a spot in the semifinals. 

It was a historical moment for the club, as they became the first Central American team to qualify for two SCCL semifinals and the first Central America club to play in back-to-back semifinals, an achievement yet to be equaled.

A narrow 4-4 aggregate defeat via the away goal tiebreaker to the Montreal Impact brought an end to their SCCL campaign, but it was a run that was respected by all around the Concacaf region.

Now almost six years later, Alajuelense find themselves back in the familiar setting of a Concacaf semifinal and no doubt they will be looking to add another chapter to their illustrious Concacaf history.