América (4) vs Chivas de Guadalajara (5) – 7:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes
First leg: Chivas 0-0 América
Thursday’s result leaves everything to play for as the second leg of the SuperClásico series is now winner-takes-all. A second goalless draw would advance América as the higher seed, while any draw with goals will send Chivas through on away goals. América has a very good home goalscoring record, but they also have the worst home defensive record of any of the playoff teams: they conceded 3+ goals on three occasions in the Azteca this season and only kept a clean sheet twice. They actually conceded nearly twice as many goals at home as on the road in the Clausura 2016, and they will have to be better in the back in this one. They will be missing captain Rubens Sambueza here as he earned a red card in the first leg.
As for Chivas, Guadalajara will be looking to score early and often, as they must find the back of the net to advance. Chivas averaged 1.5 goals per game on the road this season, and they were only shut out once in their travels, back in Jornada 4 in January. They will be missing striker Ángel Zaldívar for this game, though, after he earned a red card in the first leg. But Guadalajara’s defensive record is also in their favor: Chivas is tied for the best overall defensive record in the league and they also have the best road defensive record, with just six goals allowed on their travels.
Pachuca (2) vs Santos Laguna (7) – 9:06 PM – NBC Universo
First leg: Santos 1-1 Pachuca
Thursday night’s result gives Pachuca the slight advantage, as they now have an away goal, but the draw still leaves everything to play for as this game will be winner-takes-all. Pachuca can also advance with a 0-0 or 1-1 draw, while a 2-2 draw or higher would send Santos on to the semifinals. Pachuca is unbeaten at home this season and they gave up one goal or fewer in six of their eight home matches. The Tuzos are tied for the overall best defensive record in the league and they will look to shutout Santos here. If they can keep the Laguneros off the board, they’ll advance.
As for Santos, they need to score to move on, and they have the worst goalscoring record of any of the playoff teams. They will be inspired by the nature of Thursday’s draw – coming from behind despite injuries to Agustín Marchesín and Ulises Dávila – and they’ll look to complete the comeback in the second leg. Marchesín’s status for this match is unclear, and if the goalkeeper has to sit out it will be a big blow for the Laguneros. In addition, Carlos Izquierdoz is still suspended and will not be available.