TIBAS, Costa Rica – In three away matches in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League, Motagua have collected an impressive 2W-1D-0L record and just two goals conceded, yet that unbeaten mark will get put to the test on Thursday night in the first leg of the 2019 SCL Final at Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica.
“We know that from midfield and up front they are very dangerous, we in defense have to manage that and be focused so they do not hurt us,” said Motagua DF Juan Pablo Montes in Wednesday’s pre-match press conference.
“It is going to be important in this first leg to keep a clean sheet to be much calmer in the second game,” added Montes.
For Motagua, this series with the Monstruo Morado is the second straight season in which they have played in the SCL Final, falling last year to Herediano 3-2 on aggregate.
Motagua Head Coach Diego Vazquez sees value in having the experience of last year’s Final, as long as it is applied properly.
“We have the experience, but we have to know the right moments when to transmit and carry out that experience,” said Vazquez in the pre-match press conference. “These are different players; these are different moments. Experience is all relative.”
In last year’s Final first leg, the Catracho club lost 2-0 to Herediano in Costa Rica. It is a fate that Montes and company are seeking to avoid on Thursday night.
“We come in with the same conviction with which we have in all away games, which is to get a good result and then close out at home. We are going to play a team that plays really well on their turf, but we think we are going to play a good match and get a positive result,” said Montes.
While Vazquez may present a wrinkle or two to his starting XI, Motagua fans can expect a similar approach to what the team used in the previous round in the away leg at Alianza of El Salvador in which they earned a 1-1 draw.
“There might be a variation because of what the opponent presents. Logically we are not going to change too much, maybe a position detail or a player, but there won’t be much tactical change on the field,” said Vazquez.