Herediano players (pictured) celebrate after scoring against visiting Plaza Amador in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on September 15, 2016, in Heredia, Costa Rica. (Photo: Mexsport)
HEREDIA, Costa Rica – Herediano (1W-1D-1L, 4 points) knows the task is large, but its pursuit to return to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since the 2014/15 edition continues unabatedly.
The Florenses took over sole possession of second place in Group G on September 15 with a 2-0 win over visiting Plaza Amador (0-1-2, 1). Yendrick Ruiz netted both goals, giving him nine for his SCCL career.
Mexican power Tigres tops the table with maximum points from two games and will claim a quarterfinal berth with a win at last-place Plaza Amador on Wednesday. If the Panamanian power wins, Herediano can ultimately with a win at UANL on October 18.
Regardless of the various scenarios, Herediano head coach Hernan Medford remains optimistic.
“While the numbers give us a chance, we are going to keep fighting,” said Medford. “Obviously we depend on that match between Plaza Amador and Tigres, but while we have a chance, we can continue to dream.
“Look at what happened with Monterrey, which lost [to Árabe Unido]. In football anything can happen. While we are alive, we are going to focus ourselves on the same objective despite everything.”
Although Plaza Amador has been eliminated from contention, Medford believes it will still go all out in an effort to upend Tigres.
“I think that in the end, they want to finish well and, hopefully, they beat Tigres,” the 48-year-old finished. “I believe that it is always motivating to a team from Central America to face a Mexican team.”
Herediano (7-5-1, 26) currently sits second in the Costa Rican Invierno -- four points behind fellow SCCL participant Saprissa – and will host fifth-place Santos (5-4-4, 19) on Saturday night.