Hopeful Portmore face Cruz Azul in Azteca
Portmore United coach Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner knows how tough a task it will be going into Mexico’s Azteca Stadium to face Mexican club, Cruz Azul in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League round of 16 tie today at 10:00 pm. (Jamaica time).
The Jamaicans will be looking to overturn their 2-1 deficit but the former Reggae Boyz captain has not given up hope on going to Mexico and coming away with a favourable result.
Portmore lost the first leg to the former winners last Tuesday at the National Stadium and despite Cruz Azul being overwhelming favourites to win the second-leg and move on to the quarter-finals, Gardner does not think they are out of it as yet.
“They are a very good team, they play well throughout and that’s how they play (football) in Mexico. It doesn’t matter the score (of a game) they are still going to play (hard). So we will have to be disciplined and 100 per cent focused on our game. We have to make it as difficult as possible for them and try to catch them on the break,” Gardner said.
He also expects his players to be severely tested physically, especially playing at high altitude, but says they are committed to the task.
“We want our players to go out and work to the best of their ability and we are working towards that and God’s willing, anything is possible on the day and we are looking into ways to see how best we can get used to the (high altitude) condition,” he continued.
“But all we can ask for is for the players to give every single bit of effort, and who knows what will happen on the night? Maybe we can nick a goal or two. We know it will be difficult but we will prepare ourselves as best as possible,” he said.
Last Tuesday, Portmore surrendered a 90th-minute lead and conceded two goals in added time to lose the tie 2-1.