America is in good shape in Mexican league playoffs, Herrera says

America's Jorge Sanchez (front) in action with Veracruz's Jesus Paganoni (behind) during their teams' match on Nov. 17, 2018, in Toluca, Mexico. EFE-EPA/Jorge Nuñez

America’s Jorge Sanchez (front) in action with Veracruz’s Jesus Paganoni (behind) during their teams’ match on Nov. 17, 2018, in Toluca, Mexico. EFE-EPA/Jorge Nuñez


The coach of Mexico’s America soccer squad, Miguel Herrera, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s 4-1 victory over Veracruz this weekend, since - he said - it gives them a solid entry into the playoffs for the Apertura tourney despite not being able to dislodge Cruz Azul from first place in the rankings.

“I liked the players’ desire to win and show that the team is going solidly into the playoffs with 11 games without a loss. We’ve had almost three months with good results, accumulating points, and this time we did things well, with a lot of concentration. That is, it leaves me feeling calm about having a team that can ‘catch fire’ for what’s to come,” Herrera said in a press conference following Saturday’s match.

America played as the home team in Nemesio Diez Stadium in Toluca, a city some 60 kilometers (36 miles) from Mexico City, since the grass at Azteca Stadium - its home field - has been completely removed, although the change didn’t affect the work of the team.

Herrera said he feels that his team is “fine-tuned” for the playoffs despite the fact that there are still a few rough spots he has to work on in the coming days.

“We have to keep working. We had a great regular season and we’re going into the playoffs well. What we want is for the coming games to be like the one today, with a lot of concentration and, above all, scoring points, because today we got four goals but could have had eight,” Herrera said.

America, with its 33 goals, ended the season among the three best offensive squads in the Mexican league, and Herrera has found a rotation whereby his players can score, and even Colombia’s Roger Martinez, who has been criticized for his low scoring output, managed to find himself once again to score against Veracruz.