29 de Noviembre del 2018 12:41 pm.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco made no fewer than five critical saves in Wednesday night’s thrilling quarterfinal first leg between Santos Laguna and Rayados of Monterrey.
The 32-year-old Monterrey native, known for his versatile ability to stop and initiate from inside his area, spoke to media after the game at Estadio BBVA after giving a top performance against his former team, having been chosen as Player of the Match by fans.
“We have a great team to reverse things on our field, with our people,” he began. “We knew that it was going to be complicated. Monterrey is a good team with great players, and today they demonstrated that on their field.
“I do think that with a 1-0 result tonight, we can reverse the situation and come back. We have that confidence in ourselves and in our teammates, and with our people, a 1-0 isn’t impossible to come back from at home.”
Orozco denied the hosts four times in impressive fashion to keep the score line at zero until the 60th minute, when Rogelio Funes Mori chest-trapped a cross into the area from the right and sent the ball into the back of the net with a bicycle kick – sending Orozco diving the right way in an attempt to stop it. It was the lone goal of the game despite several good opportunities by los Guerreros on the attack and strong defensive work by the team’s back line.
“Obviously for the potency that Rayados have in their offense, they did things up top very well, not only to get into our area but to deliver service into the area to help their teammates,” he said. “That helped in big part to get them to a result that for us, we hope we can reverse.
We know it'll be difficult but we've already done it. 1-0 is a result that we can reverse in our house with our people.”
The team held a morning training session in Nuevo Leon and will return to Torreon Thursday afternoon. It will continue its preparation on Friday morning ahead of Saturday’s second leg, slated for kick off at 9:00 pm at Estadio Corona, where los Guerreros have only lost a single game all year – back in April.
Thinking ahead to what the team needs in order to guarantee a successful result to advance, Orozco says a heightened awareness of Monterrey’s most dangerous players will help.
“We know the quality that Funes Mori has,” he said. “We need to really be aware of him, of (Rodolfo) Pizzaro, of Dorlan (Pabon). These are players that can make all the difference so we need to be more aggressive when we're marking them, and prevent what happened (there) in our house. With our field, which is in great condition, we can demonstrate our game which is the most important.
Finally, the 32-year old veteran assured that both teams are evenly-matched in terms of quality and that los Guerreros have the quality and hunger to overcome the deficit with home field advantage.
“It was a dignified Liguilla game. In a certain way it was a very evenly played match. We need to remember that there are still 90 minutes to go on our field, so there's no reason to let our arms down. There's still 90 minutes left and we have to spend them doing the best work possible on our field.”