Coach Gardner still believes

February 20, 2020

After two late goals turned their Concacaf Champions League round-of-16 first- leg tie against Cruz Azul on its head at the National Stadium on Tuesday night, Portmore United's coach Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner is still optimistic his team can turn the tie around.

Portmore trail the Mexicans 2-1 going into next Tuesday's second leg. The Jamaicans took the lead in the first leg on Tuesday night but two goals in time added from Lucas Passerini and Jonathan Rodrigues snatched the win for Cruz Azul.

But although no Jamaican club has ever gone past the quarter-final stage of this competition, much less to overturn a deficit, Gardner believes all is not lost and is convinced they can still salvage something from the second leg.

Difficult task

"With God's will anything is possible. It will be a difficult task but it is not impossible. We will go into the game and give it the best shot we can," he said.

"They are a very good team, they play well throughout, every second, and that's how they play in Mexico. So we have to be disciplined and 100 per cent focused and make it as difficult as possible for them."

"We will prepare ourselves as best as possible and try to catch them on the break. But all we can ask of the players is to go out and give every bit of effort and who knows what will happen on the night," he said.

The ex-Reggae Boyz defender has tremendous experience playing inside Mexico and the Azteca Stadium and he revealed that the RSPL champions have worked out a number of ways to counteract the effects of the thin Mexican air on the team for the return game.

"We are looking into some things. We are going in (to Mexico) on February 23 and play the game two days later so we are looking into some ways to see how best we can get used to the (high altitude) conditions," he said.

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