Pachuca's Hirving Lozano speaks to the media following the first leg of the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final at Tigres on April 18, 2017, in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico – After its 1-1 draw at Tigres on Tuesday to open the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final, Pachuca’s thoughts quickly turned to the return leg at the Estadio Hidalgo.
When the sides square off again on April 26, it will mark the fifth time in nine SCCL deciders that the second leg kickoff level on the aggregate score.
“At home, I think it is going to be different,” said midfielder Erick Gutierrez. “It is going to be a more intense Pachuca, more offensive and we are going to show ourselves differently. Today was more of a tactical match.”
Gutierrez’s confidence is well placed, especially considering that the Tuzos have never lost a SCCL home game, posting a 13W-1D-0L record, and are unbeaten in 31 matches overall at the Estadio Hidalgo.
With the added advantage of an away goal in the bank, Pachuca has every reason that capturing a fifth CONCACAF club crown is a genuine possibility.
“Tigres has a great squad and is going to try to win there, but it benefits us that we are at home and that we play better at home than here,” Gutierrez remarked. “Here we put forth a more tactical match and it worked for us, so now we have to think about [a league match versus] Atlas and later the final.”
Attacker Hirving Lozano – the 2016/17 SCCL’s leading scorer with eight goals -- endured the physical attention of Tigres defenders, but believes that he and his teammates will be ready when the whistle blows.
“We are going to do what the coach tells us, which is going to the primary thing and try to give the best of ourselves,” concluded the 21-year-old Mexico international. “A few bruises, but you have to recover in the best way. You have to overcome that and try to give the best of yourself on the field.”