History does not favor Club Tijuana as the team travels to Brazil for a Copa Libertadores showdown with Palmeiras.Mexican teams have been defeated 26 times in 32 games in Brazil in the Copa Libertadores, but Club Tijuana coach Antonio Mohamed is not concerned ahead of Tuesday’s Round of 16 second leg in Sao Paulo against Palmeiras.
“It’s the right time to show that this group still wants to make more history,” Mohamed is quoted as saying on the club’s website.
Xolos tied the first leg 0-0 in the Estadio Caliente and need a score draw or a victory to advance to the quarterfinal stage. Another 0-0 tie would take the game straight to penalties.
Tijuana has had an 11-day break since its last game, which should serve the squad well after an extensive period of heavy traveling for games in both the Liga MX and the continental competition.
“We trust in our abilities, but always respect the opposition,” continued Mohamed. “We have worked in silence, with humility and we will try to go through.”
Mohamed was also quick to point out that Tijuana will be looking to play an up-tempo game, with speedy players like Fidel Martinez and Duvier Riascos hoping to take advantage of any open spaces.
The squad arrived in Brazil on Sunday and tickets in the 37,000-capacity Estadio Pacaembu are sold out.
For Americans Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo, there is a little extra pressure on the game, with US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann Tweeting early Tuesday that he will be in attendance.
The winner will play against Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro, which has been arguably the tournament’s best side so far.