Toluca triumphed 3-2 over Club America in the global score of the 2022 Liga MX Apertura semi-final, managing a 2-1 win in the first leg and a 1-1 draw on Saturday at the Estadio Azteca to advance.
Head coach Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Ambriz celebrated the victory over the number 1 seed, hailing his side for overcoming the pressure of facing the tournament’s favorites.
“Everyone underestimated Toluca, it’s not about shutting their mouths, I’m very calm, I never talked too much, I tell the truth as I feel it, we’ve done a great job. 8 months ago we were a disaster, the team didn’t walk, we paid the fine, today life changes,” he said.
“But it’s not to shut up mouths either, it’s just the work of my team, the effort of my board, two very important games are missing , but we have made a great family,” he said during the press conference.”
Toluca concluded the regular season in sixth place with 27 points in 17 games, qualifying directly into the Liguilla quarter-final. The Devils first faced Santos, stunning with an overall score of 6-4 to advance against Club America.
Ambiz complimented his players for their constant improvement throughout the tournament, adding the team’s disappointing 2022 Clausura performance inspired new efforts. Toluca only managed to reach 15th on the table last season, recording a mere 19 points in 17 games to avoid the playoffs completely. But they came back stronger.
“I am motivated by work, when you fail is when you become stronger. We had a bad tournament and based on respecting the shield and the profession, we kept on improving. We got into some games where we did not win and had there not been a FIFA Date, I would have signed that we were out.”
Now, the team will face the winner of the Pachuca-Monterrey semi-final series. Pachuca currently lead the global score 5-2 after a stunning performance in the first leg, but Monterrey will have the chance to come back in Sunday’s match at Estadio BBVA Bancomer.