13 de Mayo del 2017 12:35 pm.
Santos Laguna captain Carlos Izquierdoz was blunt when given the opportunity to speak out after the first leg of the 2017 Liguilla quarterfinals.
The 28-year old Argentine center back, who has been a critical part of los Guerreros since his arrival in 2014, left nothing back when asked what los Guerreros need to do to make a historic Liguilla comeback in Toluca on Saturday night at Estadio Nemesio Diez.
"We definitely have to go out to win from minute zero," he began. "From the initial pass, go forward with everything while being intelligent; any carelessness on our part can generate an adverse situation and from there the difficulty would only increase. We'll go out and play without fear, attack, generate an offensive game.”
Izquierdoz, or "Cali" as he's known to the fans and his teammates, recently reached 100 league games with los Guerreros, scoring 14 goals in all competitions during his tenure with the club. To say he's been a vital element to the team would be an understatement. At the end of the 2016 Apertura, he was rated as the central defender with the most goals scored (6), most balls won in the rival's area (31), most one-on-one duels won (34), and scored more goals via header than any other player in the league (4).
"We've done some critical self-analysis," he said. "The team is going to deliver as it has done throughout this tournament. In terms of attitude this team has killed it in every game, and now we have one more chance to try to do things right. There have been many instances where these situations have been reversed so we're working for that.
Questioned about the difficulty of needing to score at least four away goals while allowing zero, he commented: "Impossible, no; difficult, yes. Obviously Toluca have the advantage because we're the ones playing away. They are a team with experienced players and know how to handle the game, but we have that hunger to leave the bad taste from the first leg behind us. We are aware that first leg wasn't even close to what we had imagined. This team has the right attitude and we're going to fight to reverse this."
Finally, he emphasized support from the public is important to the team. "We entrust to death our players, our coaching staff, all the people around us. We ask them to have faith in us, to encourage us, to support us. That support and belief is fundamental.”
Saturday’s quarterfinal second leg between Santos and Toluca can be seen via Univision Deportes in the United States, and kicks off at 9:00 pm local time (10:00 pm EST).