Motagua (pictured) celebrates winning the 2016 Honduran Apertura title, its first since the 2014 Apertura. (Photo courtesy of Motagua)
PUERTO CORTES, Honduras – Motagua is Honduran champion for the 14th time and head coach Diego Vazquez couldn’t be happier.
The Ciclon Azul played host Platense to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the final on Sunday, taking the series 2-1 on aggregate.
“It’s now time to celebrate with the players, they’re the stars,” said Vazquez after the game. “After the season, logically, we have great excitement. I told the players afterwards that we’re going to cry from emotion.”
Although Motagua had stumbled in its two previous final appearances (2015 Clausura v Olimpia, 2015 Apertura v Honduras Progreso), the 45-year-old Argentinean insisted that the coaching staff’s faith in the squad never wavered, even during a six-game winless streak during the middle of the regular season.
“It’s not that we finally won it. We are always looking to do so. We were always hopeful,” Vazquez expressed. “We believed in the players, in the work that we had been doing. They deserve this.”
In addition to praising those on the field, he made a point to express gratitude to those who a make a campaign in successful in other ways.
“It’s a joy to give joy to the Motagua fans,” finished Vazquez. “They opened the doors to me as a player and as a coach. This goes out to all the people who support.”
As a result of the triumph, Motagua will be making its fourth Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League appearance in the 2017/18 edition.