• Friday Apr 25, 2014

    Cruz Azul, Toluca coaches praise players

    Luis Fernando Tena (pictured) returned for his fourth stint as Cruz Azul head coach last December. (Photo: Mexsport)

    TOLUCA, Mexico – Since Cruz Azul and Toluca shared the spoils in both legs of their 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League final series, perhaps it was appropriate that both head coaches were equally ebullient in praise of their players’ performances.

    Thanks to Mariano Pavone’s first-half strike, Cruz Azul captured the trophy on the away-goals rule.  The Mexico City-based side won a record-breaking sixth CONCACAF championship and first since 1997.

    Luis Fernando Tena was the head coach then and now.  His pride following Wednesday’s second leg was unmistakable. 

    “We knew that things were going to be even,” said Tena.  “The character of my players is what gave us the title.  We went through the final minutes with much distress.  Toluca did well in the match.  They played well.  We knew that it was going to be difficult.”

    After a spell as an assistant and interim head coach for Mexico, the 56-year-old returned to Cruz Azul for a fourth time in December, replacing Guillermo Vasquez.  The sensation of delivering a title to the club and its fans supporters left him delighted.

    “It is a joy,” Tena declared.  “I feel the colors of the club.  I feel the institution.  I feel the gratitude of the fans to give them this joy.”

    Now Tena will have the chance to lead Cruz Azul in the next FIFA Club World Cup, where he hopes to represent Mexico and the region in the best way possible.

    “To win the CCL is important and more important is to represent Mexican football and also CONCACAF football in the Club World Cup,” he concluded.

    Toluca manager Jose Cardozo won the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup with the Red Devils as a player.  Though disappointed with the final outcome, he could not hide his admiration for the team, which did not lose any of its 10 CCL games.

    “I want to congratulate my players because they wore themselves out,” expressed Cardozo.  “They left everything on the field.  We did everything possible to be champions.  We did not have forcefulness.  One that we let pass by in the final minute.  We were hit by losing, but we go out with our heads high.  We left unbeaten, but it hurts a little having lost.”

  • Champions League

    Related News



RELATED NEWS YOU'LL LIKE

Pachuca remains unbeaten at home, Tigres rallies for draw

Andre-Pierre Gignac struck again for Tigres , while a late Franco Jara goal delivered Pachuca all three points against Veracruz. CONCACAF.com takes a look at the weekend action involving the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalists.

Vancouver deals Jamaica int’l Barnes to Orlando City for Shea

Jamaica international Giles Barnes forward was traded by the Vancouver Whitecaps to Orlando City for United States defender/midfielder Brek Shea on Saturday night.

Caribbean Club Championship: Group A Recap (Day 2)

Group A play in the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship continued on Friday at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

FC Dallas arrivals make good first impression in SCCL

In their competitive debuts for FC Dallas against visiting Arabe Unido on Thursday, four newcomers don’t have to worry about needing a second chance to make a first impression.

SCCL 16/17 Diary: Quarterfinals, First Leg

The 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, first-leg matches are complete, with three ending in a draw, setting up exciting second legs next week. CONCACAF.com takes a look at some the brightest and most important moments from the series openers.