There were “very interesting things” on this Thursday's match against Chivas (2-2), which closed FC Porto's participation in the SuperCopa Tecate. Sérgio Conceição said so, commenting that his team did “well for 70 minutes”, dropping performance in the end due to physical problems and to the many substitutions, which allowed the Mexican team to tie the match. Therefore, the Dragons will be ready for the start of the Portuguese League, according to the coach, who also explained what happened at the end of the match, which should have been settled in penalty shootout to award the symbolic trophy.
“It was another preparation match, with very interesting things, very positive. There were also not so good things, and I could point the difficulty the players had in adapting to this climate. It was a match against a team with more preparation time, but we scored two goals and we could have scored more. And then there was something that is typical here in Mexico, according to Matías [Chivas’ coach], as the referee validated a goal that was ridiculous. From the moment he asks the barrier to form, the play has to wait for the clearance; you don’t have to be an expert in refereeing to know that.”
Break in second-half
“With the many substitutions, the match lost intensity, after the good dynamics we showed for 70 minutes, but that is also part of the evolution of the team. I am very happy with the players, we will be ready on August 9 to face Estoril and then, without a doubt, everyone will be on a much stronger level, in terms of fitness. But what I saw was already a very positive team.”
“4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1, they are always based on a dynamic that has to be created in the team, at every moment of the match: on construction, on the organized way you defend and on knowing what to do with and without the ball, and that takes time to work on. I think today we already had, at times, things like what I want when we start the competition. That’s why I say that I am very happy, as all the differences in comparison to our country, in this initial stage of preparation, always create many difficulties for us.”
The end of the match and the cancelling of penalty shootout
“I was talking to Matías, with whom I played for a long time in Italy, we’ve been together in three clubs and we have been friends for 20 years. I was talking to him and told him that the first goal Chivas scored could not happen, it was ridiculous, and the referee was close by. He thought that I was saying he was ridiculous and so I couldn’t be there for the penalties; Matías, as my friend, said he would not let his team take the penalties if I couldn’t watch. It was as simple as that, it was nothing special, our conversation with the referee was quiet, normal. Matías told me a little of what usually happens here and it was something along these lines, but it doesn’t matter; what really does matter is what was done on the pitch.”