• Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

    Liga MX’s table toppers meet in CCL final

    Action from the Liga MX Clausura game between host Cruz Azul (right) and Toluca on March 1, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)

    MEXICO CITY -- Whether it’s the Mexican Clausura or the CONCACAF Champions League, there’s very little that separates Cruz Azul and Toluca.

    Before continuing with the pursuit for domestic glory, they meet in the CONCACAF Champions League final with the first leg on Tuesday at the Estadio Azul.

    Although this is the fifth All-Mexican final in the six-year history of the reformatted competition, this is their first CCL encounter and neither has lifted the trophy yet.  Cruz Azul has lost in each of its previous two finals appearances – to Atlante (2008-09) and Pachuca (2009-10) – while Toluca is making its championship debut.

    The winner advances to December’s FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.

    “It is a match that we are worried about more in making the Club World Cup than avenging anything,” said Cruz Azul goalkeeper Guillermo Allison, who is expected to fill-in for the suspended Jesus Corona.

    Cruz Azul was a perfect 4-0-0 in the group stage to earn the No. 2 seed in the knockout phase.  La Maquina defeated Sporting Kansas City (5-2 agg) in the quarterfinals before rallying to overcome Club Tijuana (2-1 agg) in the semifinals.

    Toluca was also posted an unblemished group-stage recod, earning the top seed in the championship stage on goal difference.  It beat the San Jose Earthquakes (2-2 agg) on penalties (5-4) in the quarterfinals and defeated Alajuelense (3-0 agg), in the semifinals.

    Though the Red Devils have never defeated a Mexican foe in four CCL outings, Allison fully expects a very difficult challenge.

    “[Toluca] has a great offense and a great goalkeeper in Talavera, a national team goalkeeper,” said the 23-year-old.  “The truth is that they have us attentive, very concentrated.  We know that they create a lot of danger.”

    Allison also expressed his appreciation to the Cruz Azul supporters and pledged that the team will do its best to make them happy.

    “We owe a great deal to the fans, the institution and with all the people who support Cruz Azul, we know they are anxious for Cruz Azul to be champion,” he finished.  “So the truth is that we want to give the best of ourselves in this match to give them joy.”

    In their 2014 Clausura meeting on March 1, Cruz Azul topped visiting Toluca, 1-0, on 79th minute goal by Christian Gimenez.

  • Champions League

    Related News



RELATED NEWS YOU'LL LIKE

Monterrey lands Ecuador int’l GK Dominguez

Monterrey announced Friday the acquisition of goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez from Ecuador’s Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito.

Sobis says goodbye to Tigres

Rafael Sobis said goodbye to his Tigres teammates at a preseason camp Thursday, shortly after it was announced that he was joining Cruzeiro in his native Brazil.

W Connection’s Winchester joins Williams in Mexico

DirecTV W Connection announced Wednesday that forward Shahdon Winchester is leaving the club to link up with former teammate Jomal Williams at Mexican Ascenso side Murcielagos.

Pachuca, Santos draw in friendly

Mexican champion Pachuca and Santos played to a 1-1 draw in a preseason friendly on Tuesday night at Children’s Mercy Park.

Alpha United’s Dover elated with Guyana Finale triumph

Alpha United head coach Wayne Dover expressed delight at his team’s Guyana Stag Elite League triumph over rival Slingerz FC via penalty kicks in the Finale (closing tournament) final, which didn’t end until the early hours of Monday morning. The Hammer prevailed 3-0 after a scoreless draw.