“PROUD OF THIS TEAM.”- DIEGO COCCA Xoloitzcuintles coach praises squad for clinching 2018 Clausura
Diego Cocca is blunt.
Soccer News: Cocca did not hesitate to speak and praise his team that had just clinched a postseason berth with a 1-0 win against CD Toluca Friday night in the LIGA MX 2018 Clausura regular season finale.
Gustavo Bou scored in the 33rd minute to seal the Xoloitzcuintles’ playoff spot and helped Cocca reach the postseason in his first tournament as the Club Tijuana manager. And, it is also Cocca’s first season coaching in Mexico.
“The team went through a lot of tough moments but it remained strong,” Cocca said in his post-match news conference. “And today it showed just that, it is strong and had the same mentality and it has an identity. It showed that on the field. I am happy for the group. It deserves it. We spoke about deserving the playoffs for all the tough moments it went through. We showed it once again against Toluca.”
Bou scored when he took a pass from a Toluca midfielder, dribbled past goalkeeper Luis Garcia and shot a low shot into the open net. Garcia came out too late looking for that pass and Bou was alert, sprinting to the ball. It was his third goal of an injury-filled season. He was sidelined for several weeks.
“We scored on their mistake but it was a mistake because the team forced it,” Cocca said. “We had five or six other scoring opportunities which I can’t remember. I am happy with this team. Time to rest and think about what’s next. It’s going to be a final like any playoff series. It’s another season and we need to prepare mentally because this is a strong and focused team.”
Club Tijuana will know which team it will face in the home-and-home quarterfinals series next week after the weekend’s results. Cocca said it doesn’t matter the opponent. He is glad his team fought and made it to the playoffs.
“I am happy to be on this team and in this club. I am proud of this group because they are all leaning the same way,” Cocca said. “And now we start a new season.”
“We need to psychologically prepare to face these 180-minute games and do it in the best way possible to advance,” added Cocca.
“It is going to be tough but we want to live that experience.”
Source: press release