Pachuca's Hirving Lozano (pictured) is the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League's top scorer with six goals. (Photo: Mexsport)
PACHUCA, Mexico – The stage is set for Pachuca’s bid to add to its already illustrious history in CONCACAF club competitions.
On Tuesday night, the Tuzos will host FC Dallas in the second leg of their 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, which the Major League Soccer side leads 2-1.
For Pachuca, a 1-0 win or a victory by two goals or more will send the club to its second SCCL final and first since winning it in 2009/10.
Hirving Lozano, the current competition’s leading scorer with six goals says the Tuzos are keen to overturn the slim deficit.
“It is going to be difficult,” the 21-year-old attacker commented to reporters Monday. “We are losing, so it is going to be a very tough match, but we have to be better than them and try to score goals which is what it’s all about. We are going to do what the coach asks of us. We are a great team and we are going to try to turn the scoreline around.”
History will be on Pachuca’s side at the Estadio Hidalgo. Mexican sides have prevailed in two previous SCCL semifinals against their U.S. counterparts, with Santos and Monterrey overcoming the Seattle Sounders (agg: 2-1) and the LA Galaxy (agg: 3-1) in 2012/13.
Also of significance is the fact the Tuzos are unbeaten in 13 all-time SCCL home games.
“We have been very strong at home,” said Pachuca midfielder Erick Gutierrez. “It is key to win at home, it makes us strong. The fans are really into it and that motivates us. We always work with humility and we always want to win.”
Pachuca generates additional motivation by the idea of returning to FIFA Club World Cup, after reaching the event’s quarterfinals in 2010.
“It is a semifinal that we are playing to go to the Club World Cup…we want to go there,” defender Raul Lopez finished. “You have to go step by step. First this and later the final. We are the favorites because we are closing at home and we have everything to win.”