Jorge Hernandez (pictured #16) played the entire game in Pachuca's win over visiting FC Dallas in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg on April 4, 2017, in Pachuca, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
PACHUCA, Mexico – If Pachuca is playing twice a week during the month of April, all signals point to it doing something right.
That’s the prespective of Tuzos midfielder Jorge Hernandez, who spoke to reporters on Thursday, two days after his team completed a 4-3 aggregate triumph over FC Dallas in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.
Pachuca will face host Tigres in the final, first leg on April 18, before returning home to the Estadio Hidalgo for the curtain closer on April 26. Prior to that, it will have a midweek Liga MX Clausura match on April 12 at Morelia, as well regular weekend domestic duties.
“It is important that we will no longer have any rest with matches in midweek,” said Hernandez. “That is what we want, that there is always the largest quantity of matches during the month and we work for that.”
A veteran of nine career SCCL matches, including six in the 2016/17 edition, the 27-year-old Mexican is eager to square off against Tigres and bring home a fifth CONCACAF club title.
“We have to go out and show why we are here,” Hernandez remarked. “We are going step-by-step like we have said since the first match. You have to search for it and do it in the best way to achieve it.”
The 3-1 second leg victory over FC Dallas on Tuesday, in which Hirving Lozano’s strike in second-half stoppage time was decisive, added yet another chapter to the club’s growing lore of late dramatic goals.
For Hernandez, Lozano’s tally – his second of the match -- evoked memories of last year’s Liga MX Clausura final, when a 93rd-minute goal by Victor Guzman in the second leg earned Pachuca a 2-1 aggregate victory over Monterrey.
“Since I arrived here [in 2012] I have lived several times these Pachuca moments,” finished Hernandez. “We were champions like that and they are great experiences to see the fans and teammates celebrating a winning goal, but it’s the work on the field that’s the reflection of that.”