Here's what Santos coach Pedro Caixinha had to say after his team's 1-0 win tonight at CenturyLink Field:
On how his team was able to force misplaced passes and control the match: “That happened especially during the second half because we were not so well-organized defensively. Some of them were pressuring others, especially the cover was a little bit too far, so we need to set up some things, and that was one of the major points especially for the second half because if you do that. It was much more easy to have the ball and with the ball. Your games becomes also much more easy. I think those two points combined together make all the difference, especially during the second half.”
On whether he was surprised by the Sounders lineup tonight: “You know that the goalkeeper was suspended; he was not able to play. We were some doubt especially on the left back. I was expecting that Burch should be playing. But we also know that both strikers could play or not because they were not totally available to perform on the first 11. So after we have a look on the list, we organize our ideas because we have three matches – no, four matches – from the opponent because we need to be prepared and know the opponent deeply. Regarding to that, it was easy. Just after the ball went after the first whistle, we know what we expect, especially from the first half to the second half with those type of arrangements on the team, we became better on the game.”
On his game plan and how his team adjusted in the second half: “In the first half, we were trying to improve the control of the ball. It was something that we needed to improve on, we needed to work out. At the beginning, it was difficult for us to have control. We were not so aggressive going after the balls and allowed them to have better control in the first half. Also with balls that were set-pieces, where they are strong, they can go after the set-pieces very well and they can go after those balls. For the second half, we tried to improve our cohesiveness inside the team so we can be more compact and we can go after those spaces and control better those spaces, take control of the ball and then after that, take advantage of those areas that are open ones when you have better control of those spaces. It generated multiple different opportunities for us to score. We could have had more than one or two potentially.”
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