SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador– Having just appeared in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League earlier this season when it was narrowly eliminated by eventual champions Monterrey in the Round of 16, Alianza of El Salvador is eager to make a return to the SCCL and its journey begins on Thursday night in the Preliminary Round of the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League.
Pitted against San Francisco of Panama beginning with Thursday night’s first leg at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador, Alianza Head Coach Wilson Gutierrez did not hide the fact that for Alianza the 2019 SCL is an all or nothing affair.
“We have high expectations,” said Gutierrez in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“I think we have a group that has worked very hard and we want to show well in this international tournament which is important for us and for El Salvador,” added Gutierrez.
The Alianza boss contends that a good result in front of the home fans on Thursday night can set up his team to take care of matters in next week’s return leg in Panama.
“I think we have been preparing well. We are feeling good heading into this match, which is going to be very difficult. It is a 180-minute match and the idea is to grab an advantage here at home and then close things out away,” said Gutierrez.
Joining Gutierrez in the press conference was Alianza MF Marvin Monterrosa. The El Salvador international is wary of the threat posed by San Francisco but feels that as long as Alianza stays focused, it can deliver a good result.
“For us it is a very exciting game against San Francisco. It is a strong team with very fast players. We are ready to face them. We have talked among ourselves that we are capable of advancing, we just have to be mentally ready,” said Monterrosa.