The revamped 2018 CONCACAF Champions League kicks off this week with the first legs of the round of sixteen.
The new CCL format has done away with the group stage and will be a straight knockout format throughout the competition. The round of sixteen is a home-and-away, two-legged aggregate goals series. Away goals are tiebreakers.
Mexico’s qualifiers are Tigres UANL, América, Tijuana, and Chivas de Guadalajara, and they will be facing, respectively, Costa Rica’s Herediano, Costa Rica’s Saprissa, Honduras’s Motagua, and the Dominican Republic’s Cibao FC.
Veracruz took the lead but couldn’t hold it as América scored a stoppage-time goal to tie the game 1-1. The result keeps the Tiburones Rojos winless at home this season but unbeaten in two overall, while América remain unbeaten this season and at the top of the table.
The hosts suffered a setback towards the end of the first half, when goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was injured in a collision with a teammate and forced out of the game, to be replaced by Édgar Melitón Hernández.
América earned an emphatic 4-1 victory against Monarcas Morelia to put them top of the table, pending the rest of this week’s results. The win keeps the Águilas unbeaten this season, while the michoacanos have now lost two in a row.
The game started off well for the hosts, who took the lead in just the 5th minute. Jérémy Ménez sent a long cross into the box, which Cecilio Domínguez corralled. He drove towards goal, cut around his defender, and beat Sebastián Sosa to make it 1-0 for América.
América remained unbeaten this season with an emphatic 5-1 victory against 10-man Lobos BUAP. The result keeps the Licántropos winless this season and stranded at the foot of the table.
América started the game off attacking and they only got more dominant after Francisco Rodríguez was shown a straight red card in the 20th minute for a bad foul on Oribe Peralta. The Águilas finally opened the scoring in the 35th minute, when Renato Ibarra sent in a corner kick for Henry Martín, who headed it home to make it 1-0.
Querétaro vs Veracruz – 6:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Querétaro (14th) fell 1-0 to Monarcas Morelia to keep them winless in two. The Gallos Blancos are also winless at home this season, with a loss and a draw in La Corregidora, but they’ll look to change that here when they take on a relegation rival. Of concern for Querétaro is their goal-scoring – or lack thereof. The Gallos have been shut out in three of their four games to date. On the other hand, they’ve only allowed two goals all season.
As for Veracruz (16th), the Tiburones Rojos drew 1-1 with Santos Laguna last weekend to keep them winless in the Clausura. Veracruz is sitting at the foot of the relegation standings and needs to pick up points ASAP if they want to remain in Liga MX next season. The Tiburones Rojos did manage to score their first goal of the season last weekend, and they’ll look to build on that here.
América remained unbeaten in the Clausura 2018 with a 1-0 victory against Atlas. The result is a fourth straight loss for the Rojinegros, who have dropped into last place in the standings, while the Águilas earned their first home win of the season.
Rubén Omar Romano made his debut as Atlas coach, but it wasn’t enough for the Rojinegros to earn their first points of the season. Atlas started the game off well, though, with an early chance by Edwin Gómez that looked to surprise Agustín Marchesín.
Lobos BUAP vs Pumas UNAM – 6:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Lobos BUAP (18th) fell 3-1 to Pachuca last weekend to remain winless this season. The licántropos have suffered three consecutive losses to start the Clausura, which has seen them drop down the relegation standings. Another loss here could see them fall as far as 17th in the Tabla de Cociente. Lobos’ defense has been their main problem; they’ve allowed nine goals to date, a league high. Although they’ve scored three goals of their own, they haven’t been able to make those goals stand up. They need to focus on keeping a clean sheet when they return home for this one.
As for Pumas UNAM (1st), the universitarios drew 0-0 with América last weekend in the Clásico Capitalino. The result keeps Pumas unbeaten this season, although they are no longer perfect. They got back to winning ways in midweek with a 3-0 victory against FC Juárez in the Copa MX and they’ll look for another league win here when they face the team on the opposite end of the table.
It was honors even in the Clausura 2018 edition of the Clásico Capitalino as Pumas UNAM and América played out a 0-0 draw. The result keeps the universitarios at the top of the table, although it also ends their perfect start to the season, while the Águilas are likewise still unbeaten.
There were chances at both ends, and América had a dangerous one in the 13th minute. Mateus Uribe played the ball in for Cecilio Domínguez, but Alfredo Saldívar made the save. Then in the 21st minute, Jesús Gallardo tried his luck from distance for the hosts, but his shot was just off target.
Pumas UNAM vs América – 1:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes
Pumas UNAM (1st) beat Atlas 3-1 last weekend to remain perfect this season. The universitarios stumbled in midweek, however, where they suffered a 2-0 loss to Lobos BUAP in the Copa MX. Pumas will look to keep up their winning ways in league play, however, and keep ahold of first place while they’re at it. They have the best attacking record so far in the young season with six goals in two games and they’ll look to continue their prolific scoring here.
As for América (5th), the Águilas drew 2-2 with Pachuca last weekend to keep them unbeaten this season. They’ll look to get back to winning ways when they go back on the road for this one; they won twice as many away games as home games last season, and they’ll look to continue their good road form here. They’ll also be more rested than their opponent as they did not have a midweek game.