Leagues Cup

Charlotte FC's Win Against Cruz Azul Another Step Towards Building Desired Mentality


In the face of unfavorable circumstances, Charlotte FC managed to defeat the formidable Cruz Azul from Mexico, in their toughest Leagues Cup test yet. They went toe to toe with the Mexican giants and earned a consecutive penalty shootout victory in Frisco, Texas.

“Good feeling, good feeling,” said Head Coach Christian Lattanzio following the match. “Penalties can go either way, but I thought that we competed against a very good Mexican team with good individual players who are well organized. So, I’m very proud, very happy. It’s the second time we have come here and we a shootout.”

“There are a lot of positives in our game. We were a bit tentative at certain moments. I think we have more in us when we have the ball to be a little more decisive in the last third. It’s almost like we paid too much respect but it’s part of the growth we are making. In the end it could have gone either way, but obviously delighted with the win.”

The star of the evening was undoubtedly Kristijan Kahlina, who delivered three crucial saves during the penalty shootout, propelling his team into the Round of 16. Lattanzio attributed the team's success to the meticulous groundwork and preparation that proved to be the decisive factor.

“Kahlina, one of his qualities is that he’s a cold guy. He’s cold and passionate at the same time. In those moments he can be really focused. I also want to give credit to goalkeeper coach Aron Hyde that did a great job of preparing him. Studying the penalty takers of Cruz Azul. It’s the work they’ve done together.”

The Club had to play in a not-so-neutral venue that was primarily occupied by Cruz Azul fans. Additionally, they had to contend with scorching heat. Nonetheless, Lattanzio promptly brushed aside these factors, asserting that such challenges are a universal part of any team's journey and should not be used as alibis.

This particular match emerged as a true examination of the team's character, and they emerged triumphant. The squad faced all the difficulties head-on without faltering, showcasing remarkable resilience. This achievement is especially noteworthy given the team's relatively youthful status.

“For us as a club to go as far as we have gone at the moment, it makes me and everybody else proud because it is itself is an achievement. We are also facing difficulties, but the guys take everything on the chin and I want to really compliment them particularly regarding their character.

“It’s a group of guys that never complain, take everything on the chin, move forward, and are ready for every challenge we could face. We are building the mentality we want to build, it takes time, as I have said in the past. Nights like this are another step forward to where we want to be.”

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