Bolivian soccer team Bolivar Monday traveled to Mexico, where it will play Leon Wednesday as part of the Libertadores Cup, coach Xabier Azkargorta said.
Bolivar is going into the match strong, having lost no games so far (a tie and a win), but Azkargorta said it would still be a tough match, since the two rivals have played each other before and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“We are going with the intention to do well, we have a good team, but we have to play two games to find out who qualifies for the quarterfinals,” he told reporters gathered at the airport to see the team off.
The trip from South America to Mexico’s central state of Guanajuato, where the Leon city team is based, will also be a “tiring” one, with a stop over in Bogota, Colombia, he said.
Azkargorta said Leon is probably the best team of the Libertadores Cup, and proved it by defeating Brazilian rivals Flamengo 3-2 in their hometown of Rio de Janeiro to advance towards the quarterfinals.
In earlier rounds, Bolivar first tied Leon 1-1 in La Paz, then beat Leon at home 1-0. Now the teams face off again in Leon, before playing each other April 22 at La Paz’s stadium, which is situated 3,600 meters above sea level.
Leon probably sees Bolivar as a tough rival, as well, since it is the only team of the cup’s Group 7 to have defeated the Mexican team.