Vancouver Whitecaps FC's Marcel de Jong (white jersey) looks to make a pass against host Tigres in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, first leg on March 14, 2017, in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
VANCOUVER, Canada -- Vancouver Whitecaps FC has almost no room for error when it hosts Tigres in the second leg of their 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal on Wednesday night.
The Canadian side must win by three goals at BC Place in order to guarantee advancement to the final against Pachuca. Tigres enters the confrontation bolstered by a 2-0 home victory in the series opener.
"You're always going to play on the edge, that danger," said Vancouver striker Fredy Montero. "Even if we're winning 2-0, we know one goal is going to be tough to come back [from]."
Goalkeeper David Ousted realizes the encounter will be a difficult balance, but possible to navigate successfully.
"It takes discipline, it takes concentration," he stated. "We're at home and we need to get after them, regardless how good they are and the guys they have up front. We need to get after them. We need to go and press them. We need to make them uncomfortable. They are in cold, cold Canada."
Whitecaps FC plans to open the stadium's roof and let the elements in. Game time forecast calls for 50˚ F and rain.
The players hope that the weather, combined with the venue’s artificial turf, will give Vancouver an advantage.
"They're going to have to deal with it," continued Ousted. "We obviously know how it is in there and how it plays."
"It's going to be normal for us," he remarked. "Of course, they are going to be uncomfortable. Hopefully, we can use that as well. They cannot play one or two touches like are used to playing on their home field."
Regardless what transpires on the field, head coach Carl Robinson hoped his team will enjoy the occasion.
“Some of these players will never ever get the opportunity to play against this level of quality players again,” concluded the former Wales international. “So, don’t be afraid of it. Go and enjoy it. Embrace it, and go and leave your stamp on the game. When you cross that white line, reputations go out the window."