Chivas' Matias Almeyda wary of first-leg win over Toronto FC: 'This isn't over'
Chivas coach Matias Almeyda was measured in his reaction to Guadalajara recording a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final at BMO Field.
The former Argentina international was happy his team managed to get a positive result in a stadium in which both Tigres and Club America lost to TFC, but isn't getting carried away.
"This isn't over, there are 90 minutes left and what I can tell you is that my players give everything whoever the opponent is," said Almeyda of the result in a news conference after the game.
"Football is about good and bad moments, but we've always managed things along the same lines and guided by union and the perseverance of all the members of this team."
Almeyda had stated how much he respected Greg Vanney's Toronto team ahead of the game and was equally lavish in his praise at the midway point of the final.
"The game was difficult, the opponent has great players, mobility and a great strategy," said Almeyda. "My team performed excellently despite the playing surface not being good. We played our game at times.
"It was a very even game and fortunately we managed to get the advantage."
Chivas owner Jorge Vergara was bolder in his praise of his players, all of which are Mexican per club policy.
"I believe in Mexico, I believe in Mexicans, I believe in this team," wrote Vergara on Twitter, highlighting the conditions at BMO Field. "There are no limits."
Toronto coach Vanney bemoaned giving Chivas an early goal -- it took just 63 seconds for Mexico international Rodolfo Pizarro to open the scoring for the visitors -- but maintains that his side still remain in the tie.
"It's a bad goal to give up, we're not even two minutes into the game," he said after the match. "It's a throw-in on the side, we've got to deal with it better.
"I don't know if it changes the game, but it certainly puts us in a bit of a hole to start the game, that's for sure.
"Aside from that, we knew what the game was going to look like. But until you really experience a straight up man-to-man game then you take some things away from it.
"I thought we had some opportunities and we didn't make do with those. We gave away two goals that we shouldn't give away and we find ourselves in a little bit of a hole as we go to Mexico."
Jonathan Osorio got Toronto back into the game with an equaliser in the 18th minute -- the sort of reaction Vanney says Toronto will need more of if his side are to prevail in the return leg at Estadio Akron.
"It was a great reaction. Our team is quite experienced in big games. We understand what it's like," he said. "We made a bit of an adjustment as we went along to try to set ourselves up maybe in a slightly different way.
"It was a good response from the guys. I thought after that goal we had the better part of the first half. The second half I think we probably could have gotten a little bit more out of it than we did. Obviously the goals are the goals."
TFC talisman Sebastian Giovinco was heavily man-marked by the Chivas defense during the match, but Vanney refused to use that as an excuse for the loss.
"I think you've got to be able to play into him, play off of him. He's got to stay mobile," Vanney said. "A lot of guys were man-marked closely, that's the way they play.
"But it's important again that some of our actions were pretty good, some of our combinations were pretty good. When we were able to play into guys and get behind them and get beyond our markers then some of those actions were pretty good.
"I thought there was times when we actually gained a bit of an advantage on our guy and we slowed the game down instead of speeding the game up at that point and creating an advantage on the other side.
"I think those are just little things that you have to see and get used to."
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