Pachuca looks to maintain momentum on two fronts

Goalkeeper Oscar Perez (pictured) has played in six 2016 Liga MX Apertura games for Pachuca. (Photo: Mexsport)

PACHUCA, Mexico – Thanks to the international break, Pachuca hasn’t played an official game since August 27.

That all changes in a big way starting Friday, when the second-place Tuzos will look to beat host Veracruz in Liga MX and join Club Tijuana atop the table. Four days later, they will travel to Belize for a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League encounter with Police United.

Goalkeeper Oscar Perez is looking forward to resuming the season and has no plans on underestimating the Red Sharks, which have only one win in seven Apertura games.

"We are expecting a difficult duel,” said the 43-year-old. “We know that Veracruz hasn’t had the results that its game deserves and that makes them a dangerous opponent.

"We go with the idea of maintaining positive momentum. We must be offensive and keep control of the ball.”

Although some squad members were away for 10 days on national team duty, Perez wants to hit the ground running and replicate the effort that has earned a 4W-1D-2L record. In its last outing, Pachuca let a one-goal lead slip away in a 1-1 draw with Monterrey.

"The important thing is that we have maintained the style that we looked to instill since last season,” Perez commented. “Day by day we seek to improve on aspects that can be decisive in instances later.”

During the lengthy pause in domestic play, Pachuca traveled to the United States for a friendly on September 3, defeating the host San Jose Earthquakes, 4-3. Raul Lopez led the way with two goals on direct free kicks.

“We're very good,” remarked Perez on the team’s current condition. “The break came at a great time for us. We have worked in a good way and we hope to get a good result.”

With five games to be played over a 16-day period, including the SCCL match at Police United, Perez is confident that Pachuca can handle the testing road ahead.

“The coming weeks will be complicated by the workload,” he finished. “Fortunately, we have a large, high-quality roster to fight for both tournaments.”