Tano Ortiz holds hand up for América elimination
América’s coach pinpointed the team’s failures which led to their semi-final defeat to Toluca but added that ultimately, he was responsible.
The Águilas del América appealed to the Azteca and its fabled history to help them turn around a 2-1 deficit in Saturday’s Apertura 2022 semi-final return leg. But in the end it was Toluca who imposed their conditions and secured their ticket to the final. After the match, Argentine coach Fernando Ortiz couldn’t hide his disappointment, and made it clear that not winning the tournament, or even reaching the final, can be seen as a failure.
He also added that it was useless having a spectacular regular season and having a huge goal difference as ultimately, the team’s objective of making it through the playoffs was not achieved. “This is football. All the team’s achievements throughout the regular season were well deserved, but the league is like this - everything we have achieved up to this point means nothing and not achieving the objective, for me in particular, is a sporting failure,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“I stand by what I say (that nothing was won), for not achieving what we set out to do, which was to become champions. I am one hundred percent responsible. Everything the team has achieved is down to the players. For me, doing a quick analysis of everything that has happened is very difficult, I congratulate Toluca, I congratulate Nacho [Ambriz], he is an excellent coach,” he continued.
Ortiz admitted that his side struggled to deal with Toluca’s aerial game - one of their opponent’s strong points. “It is one of their strengths as a team, in both leg we paid dearly for that. The rival used their weapons and we couldn’t take the game forward. I am responsible for this sporting failure, we all know what it means not to be able to achieve something at this club”, he said.
Regarding his continuity on the América bench, Ortiz left his future in the hands of the board. “I have a one-year contract. Regarding the question, I don’t know what to say but the board will have to analyze it or not, it’s their problem. If something happens, they will tell me and if it doesn’t, I will continue to lead the team with the same desire, enthusiasm and madness that this passion brings,” he added.
Now, the Eagles of América will must start preparing for Clausura 2023, in which they will try to end the four-year drought without a league title. Meanwhile, Toluca are 180 minutes away from being able to lift their 11th title and await their rival, which will be decided later today when Rayados de Monterrey take on Tuzos del Pachuca.