Cruz Azul's Gerardo Torrado (left) in CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, second leg action against visiting Club Tijuana on April 9, 2014, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)
MÉXICO CITY, Mexico – For the fifth time in six CONCACAF Champions League finals, two Mexican sides will meet to determine the confederation’s champion, when Cruz Azul takes on Toluca.
It will be Cruz Azul’s third appearance in the curtain closer. La Maquina fell to Atlante in the inaugural edition (2008-09) and lost to Pachuca a year later on a last-minute goal by current Toluca-star Edgar Benitez.
Toluca is making its debut in the final, but has won two CONCACAF Champions Cups (1968, 2003).
The first leg will played Tuesday at the Estadio Azul in Mexico City. With the top two teams in the latest Liga MX standings pitted against each other, the series has the potential to be the best final yet.
“I think it is going to be a good game,” said midfielder Christian Gimenez, a CCL champion with Pachuca in 2010. “They are going to be two vibrant matches. I think the two teams are doing things well and that has to reflect itself in the match.”
Getting to the final, however, was not easy. The two-legged semifinal was certainly a challenge for Cruz Azul, which lost the opener at Club Tijuana (1-0), before completing the comeback on home soil with a hard-fought 2-0 win.
“It was a difficult match, a complicated match but [we’re] happy with the victory,” expressed Gimenez, who has seven career CCL goals (five with Cruz Azul, two with Pachuca). “We are happy to make it to another final.”
Midfielder Gerardo Torrado appreciated his team’s efforts and said that Cruz Azul will give everything in order to become the champion of CONCACAF for a record-breaking sixth time.
“I’m happy to have the chance again, now to work well to be able to get the title,” said Torrado. “We still haven’t won anything. We are in the final stage. We have to work and analyze them well and look to win.”
Nevertheless, Torrado dreams of lifting the trophy and what that means as a result.
“We are in the final and we will look to win it to represent CONCACAF in the Club World Cup,” concluded Torrado.