One of the worst feelings as a professional footballer is losing a title game. As if losing the title weren’t enough you then start with the questions: What if? What if Cruz Azul had not lost the first leg? What if Cruz Azul had kept a clean sheet on Sunday?
Unfortunately for Cruz Azul they will be asking those questions for a long time. One of the people who will most certainly be repeating those questions is Cruz Azul’s manager, Enrique Meza.
Meza knows they were at one point 135 minutes away from becoming champions but it was not to be as Monterrey took the title with an aggregate score of 6-4.
“Monterrey beat us well, but we were also a worthy rival. I’m not happy with that though because I demand more of myself. Today we faced a great team who did their work, and so did we, but they left us out,” said Meza after Cruz Azul’s painful defeat.
Cruz Azul had a great turn around from where they were last season. they went from the bottom of the rungs to playing in the title game in less than a year. To “El Ojitos” that is not a failure.
“I don’t think it’s a failure,” admitted Meza. “There are 16 teams already in vacation and to lose in a final you have to be playing in one.
Meza agreed with Gerardo Torrado when the midfielder said that the final was lost in the first leg. Monterrey let a 3-1 advantage at the half slip away.
“We lost the final over there because all they did was just come here and compliment on their lead. We had an important lead and we were playing good,” said Meza. “Then we just stopped playing collectively and they made the goals on us and won it 4-3.”
For Meza this was his third time falling just shy of the crown. The former Mexican national team manager took it like he did the others, with a professional attitude.
“It didn’t hurt (the loss) more than the others did. I am a professional I demonstrate it every day with my presence and my work, but it is always easier to criticize,” noted Meza.”
Meza is very happy with his team and how they responded this year. The manager had a tough task but he performed it better than what many expected. Meza thought his team deserved more but it wasn’t meant to be in the end.
“I am happy for them. I told them to stay calm and to remember that just last year they had a horrible season. They over achieved. You could say that I am conformed with very little but that’s not the case. We had a good season but we were shoved to the curve. I am sure; however, that we will become better prepared,” ended Meza.
Sylvestre Adame, Goal.com
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