Soccer  > General Soccer  > Espana joins Champions League again
December 13, 2010, 05:16 PM
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Real Espana became the first Central American club to qualify for next season's CONCACAF Champions League, beating Olimpia 2-1 in extra time to win the Honduran Apertura championship.

Christian Martinez equalized in the 87th minute and Douglas Caetano scored the winner in the 111th Sunday to earn a 3-2 aggregate victory and return Real Espana to the continental club championship for the first time since the 2009-2010 tournament.

Espana is the seventh team to assure itself of a place in the Champions League, joining U.S. sides Colorado, Los Angeles, FC Dallas and Seattle as well as Mexican clubs Monterrey and Santos Laguna.

The result assures Espana of at least a place in the Preliminary Round. The two Honduran split-season champions both qualify for the Champions League with the team earning the best overall record over the two seasons qualifying automatically for the Group Stage.

The league title is the 10th for the 81-year-old Espana and first since the 2006-2007 Clausura. Espana qualified for the 2008-2010 Champions League as a third team from Honduras with the best overall record when Belize was declared ineligible due to stadium standards.

Espana eliminated Liberia Mia of Costa Rica in the Preliminary Round 6-3 on aggregate before entering the Group Stage, where it won two of four games and finished last in its group.

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