Jeronimo Amione (pictured) could be a key player for Cruz Azul in its CONCACAF Champions League match against Haiti's Valencia on September 24, 2013. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY – Cruz Azul doesn’t want any surprises when it takes on Haiti’s Valencia on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League. For CONCACAF official notes about this game, click here.
The five-time confederation champion shares the lead in Group 3 with Costa Rica’s Herediano on six points each, but will make up its game in hand against the Haitians at the Estadio Azul Stadium.
Regardless of the result, when Cruz Azul faces Herediano in the group’s last game next month, a quarterfinal berth will remain at stake.
First things first, though, and La Maquina must focus fully on Valencia. In their first meeting on August 28 in Port-au-Prince, Cruz Azul posted a 2-1 victory thanks to a late game-winning goal by Jesus Lara.
Cruz Azul will be without Christian Giménez, Jesús Corona and Gerardo Torrado. The trio is unavailable due to training commitments with the Mexican national team.
Despite having been eliminated from contention last week by Herediano, Valencia has proven to be a difficult CCL opponent. It has scored at least one goal in each of its three outings, with Roody Joseph and Andre Amy splitting the team’s four goals.
Jeronimo Amione, who scored for Cruz Azul in the win over the Vert y Rouge, is that the Mexico City-based squad is well equipped for the challenge.
“It is going to be a difficult game, sometimes on paper it doesn’t look that way but we know it is,” said the 23-year-old forward. “We should not be overconfident at any point in tomorrow’s game, we want to advance to the next round and we should win.
“The absence of the national team players is not a pretext, their absence has been well covered by other players. They leave a big hole, but on other occasions my teammates have demonstrated the quality to fill in for them.”
Cruz Azul has only one loss in 21 all-time CCL home games.