HEREDIA, Costa Rica – Just minutes after a 2-0 victory over Motagua in the first leg of the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League final, Herediano already began to turn its thoughts toward next week’s decisive second leg in Honduras, where the Costa Rican club will look to earn its first ever Concacaf title and punch its ticket to the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
“Motagua is a team with a lot of craft and very physical, but luckily we have very fast players and we hope to recover them for next week,” said Herediano Assistant Coach Rolando Villalobos in the post-match press conference.”
“Our team also has experience. It will be a match, like normal, in which we have to defend ourselves and know how to defend ourselves on a hostile, difficult field. In the end we hope to plan a good game to be able to come out of difficult situations that can be presented during the match,” added Villalobos.
While on the whole Herediano was not surprised by what it saw from Motagua, the unforeseen injury of DF Keysher Fuller made things a but more difficult for Herediano going up against Motagua’s imposing forward line.
“For a while there’s been a thorough study of the opponent, man for man, line for line, system for system, and in some moments of the match there were surprises. Perhaps the most unexpected thing was Keysher Fuller’s injury. The match was difficult because they are crafty and play a physical game,” said Villalobos.
Villalobos also credited the work of interim boss Jafet Soto, who instilled some badly needed motivation into a squad that had lost its last four domestic matches.
“In addition to having football knowledge, Jafet Soto motivated the team a lot to recover the self-esteem of the team and that was key. The psychological recuperation is very important after a victory like this,” concluded Villalobos.