x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Patience the key for Pachuca against depleted Wahda

They face Al Wahda tonight and Pablo Marini's side start as favourites to accomplish that task against a team that has been weakened by injuries.

ABU DHABI // Pachuca, the North American champions from Mexico, want to leave the Club World Cup with their pride restored.

They face Al Wahda tonight and Pablo Marini's side start as favourites to accomplish that task against a team that has been weakened by injuries.

"The defeat against Mazembe was a real blow because we'd been hoping to do much better and reach the final at the very least," Miguel Calero, the Pachuca captain and goalkeeper, was quoted as saying on the Fifa website.

"Our tournament was over as soon as we lost, but we now need to focus on winning our next game out of respect for football, the fans, the competition's organisers and our opponents. We want to prove that we can do better, because that wasn't the real Pachuca."

Calero will be hoping his strike force comes good against the Pro League champions, unlike in the match with TP Mazembe, when they lost 1-0 after hitting the woodwork and failing to score from the chances they created due to poor finishing.

"We had three or four clear-cut chances against Mazembe which we weren't able to convert," the 39-year-old keeper added. "We started really badly and then lost our heads a bit in our desperation to equalise.

"We didn't have the patience needed to take our chances, so I hope history doesn't repeat itself in our next game."

Braulio Luna, the 36-year-old former Mexico international midfielder, shared those sentiments.

"Al Wahda are a good team, they're playing on home soil and will be determined to finish in fifth spot," he said.

"For all those reasons they won't make life easy for us. But with all due respect to our opponents, we just need to focus on our own game and on performing better. That way we can finish the tournament with our heads held high."