Andrés Lillini Is Proud of Pumas after Reaching Concachampions Final

Andrés Lillini - Pumas
Pumas head coach Andres Lillini looks on from the bench during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match against the New England Revolution, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Andrés Lillini could not hide his happiness and pride for his team after they reached the Concachampions final with a 2-1 aggregate win over Cruz Azul.

Argentine coach Andrés Lillini has surprised everyone with the work he has been doing with Pumas since he arrived on the bench. Although they have suffered important losses due to injuries or transfers, they have managed to maintain their balance with what they have on hand. After clinching the ticket to the final on Tuesday night, he was proud of the group he has and highlighted the perseverance of his players.

“They make me, the board of directors and all the people of Pumas happy because they do not give up in the face of adversity, this group pulls out all the stops in the face of the difficult to sustain and have done so for the past two years.”

The university team will return to the final of the international competition 17 years later, since 2005 when they faced Saprissa of Costa Rica and lost, leaving them out of the Club World Cup.

Andres Lillini Feels Privileged to be in the Finals

For Andrés Lillini, having Pumas at this level after such a long time is a “privilege”: “To play in a final after 17 years, I am privileged, I have been put in this place and I cannot fail the club nor the people, that’s why I give my maximum effort game after game and these players make me more competitive and I only thank them for this opportunity to lead them.”

Andrés Lillini - Pumas
Pumas head coach Andres Lillini looks on from the bench during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match against the New England Revolution, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Regarding Adrian Aldrete’s foul on Diogo inside the box, which has first been flagged as a penalty, and after a VAR review the penalty was reversed, Andrés Lillini preferred not to enter into controversy.

“We knew they would split blocks, we had to take ideas from the opponent, we defended well. I don’t want to go into details, we are struggling with these issues from two years ago, they tell me it was a penalty but I won’t say more.”

For the Argentinean, the team had the opportunity to score goals, but they managed to keep the result because of the defense: “In the match we had the chance to score in two counterattacks and tonight the team was held up by the defense.”

Lillini went on to praise the team for their performance, and said that playing in the Concachampions final is the most important thing they have to play for in the two years he has been with the university team.

“Pumas is a winning team, a big team of a different breed and that makes us win, we have won the pass to the final and what is coming is more important: we are going to play in two years together and we can’t waste it.” And finally, he said that they will try to continue doing things in the same way, since the objective is to win: “To do what we have been doing to win the final, which is our maximum objective in the short term.”

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