YOKOHAMA – With continental bragging rights at stake for the last time, Once Caldas manager Luis Fernando Montoya said Wednesday he is determined to see off Porto and claim victory for Colombia and South America in their Toyota Cup debut.
Once Caldas, the surprise winner of the South American Libertadores Cup, and European champion Porto of Portugal will meet in the annual match in Yokohama on Sunday for the unofficial title of the world’s best club side for the final time under the competition’s current format.
South America and Europe have an equal record in the tournament with 12 wins each.
“Porto have very good players and will be highly motivated. But we are in the same position and we have prepared well and are very relaxed,” said Montoya, whose team arrived in Japan last Friday.
Porto touches down in Japan on Thursday having just secured its place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Portuguese giants, winners of the Toyota Cup in 1987, beat Chelsea 2-1 on Tuesday, the English Premier League leader now managed by Jose Mourinho, the man who guided Porto to victory in the Champions League final in May.
“I feel a big responsibility. We want to take the title back to Colombia and I want to show people that even a team that does not have a great deal of money can enjoy great success,” said Montoya.
Once Caldas captain Samuel Vanegas added that the team is highly motivated to help South America win the 25th and final game of the competition.
“We want to make it 13-12 for South America,” he said.
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