Paulo Da Silva (pictured) and Toluca will meet Alajuelense in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series on April 1, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA – Toluca understands very well that it faces a difficult match at Alajuelense in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series on Tuesday. After all, the host (6-3-0) has never lost at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in nine tournament outings.
Red Devils defender Paulo Da Silva met with the press on Monday, offering his thoughts about the match-up and the Mexican side’s expectations.
“We come in with the desire to compete,” said Da Silva. “If we want to be champions, we need to beat Alajuelense.”
The pitch at the Morera Soto is synthetic and even though it is a rarity for Toluca to play on such a surface, the Paraguayan does not believe it will become a major factor.
“The field looks good,” he noted. “We are not used to it, but that is not an excuse to get a good result.”
Like any CCL match, an away goal could hold great potential value and finding the back of the net at Alajuelense is one Toluca’s primary objectives. It has scored eight times in three 2013/14 CCL games on the road , thus far.
“We need to have a perfect game,” said Da Silva, who began his Mexican league career with the club in 2003. “The away goal is worth double. We hope to have possession of the ball, not lose and score away.
“[Alajuelense] is a team that plays well, at home. They are strong. It is a team of concern. For that reason, they are an opponent that is among the four best.”
At the end of the day, though, the ultimate target is a place in the next FIFA Club World Cup.
“Each match is different,” concluded Da Silva. “We have the motivation to make the Club World Cup.”
Toluca (1968, 2003) and Alajuelense (1986, 2004) have both won the CONCACAF club title on two occasions, but they have never met in CCL play.