Magallán: “Playing the second leg at home is a plus, but it doesn’t make you qualify”
After qualifying directly for the Liguilla during his first season, the Argentine defender knows what is at stake and what it means to reach this stage of the tournament.
The quarter final schedules have been defined, as well as the days to start the Fiesta Grande of Mexican Football. With it, the panorama that each team will face when the ball starts rolling in the final phase of the Apertura 2023 later this week. Out of the four ties, there is one specific clash that promises more emotion than the rest: Pumas vs Chivas.
One Pumas player in particular will experience what it is like to play in the Liga MX Liguilla for the first time in his career - someone who has become an undisputed pillar within the University defense: Lisandro Magallán. The 30-year-old Argentine defender says that he knows what is at stake from this point on in the competition and insists that other factors which might seem favorable for the Auriazules won’t have much effect.
“When I came here, the goal was to make it to the Liguilla, because obviously, only the best teams get this far,” Magallán told Fox Sports. “But I am aware that now the margin of error is reduced because if you lose you are out. That makes it more challenging. We understand that the most difficult part is about to begin and we now know who our rivals are. Even though we have already faced each other in the regular season and the result was favorable, this is totally different - we have two games to get through and both of them will be like finals”
Return leg at the Olímpico
He continued: “I don’t know if there are any advantages or disadvantages. A new tournament is starting, it’s a separate league. The good thing is that we have a slight sporting advantage by playing the second leg at home. That is a plus point, but it doesn’t make you classify, just one detail can leave you out or leave you in”.
He ended with his thoughts on the endless rumors about transfers, possible departures and arrivals, saying that gossip is just part of the game designed to cause disruption. But he and his team mates know how to deal with such distractions and won’t let them affect their focus. “Our hopes are higher now because we feel a little closer to the end. We understand how soccer works, in important clubs there are always names or teams floating around and it is part of the impact that Pumas generates,” Magallán concluded.