León (1st) is in good position to advance after their away win in the first leg. Any win or draw would put them through to the final, as would a 0-1 loss – and every single one of their home games this season reflected one of those scenarios: seven wins, one draw, and one 0-1 loss. León also has both the best attacking record and the best defensive record in the league; they would have to lose while conceding 2+ goals to fail to advance, and that happened just once in their 17 regular season games. In other words, La Fiera will like their chances in this one.
The Águilas looked the better team for long stretches, despite finding themselves in a situation where their “home” leg was played 140 miles from their home stadium – the game was relocated to Querétaro’s La Corregidora due to state-of-emergency levels of pollution in and around Mexico City due to brush fires.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday night, the first leg of the semifinal series between América and León was rescheduled to Thursday due to the state of emergency in Mexico City caused by pollution due to brush fires in the area; the game has now been moved out of the area entirely at the recommendation of local authorities.
Rather than the Estadio Azteca, América will now “host” the first leg in Querétaro’s La Corregidora, located about 140 miles away. Toluca’s Estadio Nemesio Diez, which is only about 40 miles away, was considered as the first option, but it too is in an area affected by the air pollution.
La Máquina came out attacking, knowing they needed at least two goals to overturn América’s first-leg lead. José Madueña had an early chance go just wide, while Jonathan Rodríguez found himself in dangerous positions multiple times, but was unable to convert any of his chances.
Cruz Azul lost the first leg, but thanks to their away goal and their position as higher seed, they are still in a reasonable position to advance: La Máquina needs a two-goal win to move on to the semifinals. They were not a very high-scoring team in the regular season, though, amassing 26 goals in total; they won by a 2+-goal margin just four times in 17 games. Nevertheless, that’s what they need to do in this one. The pressure is on, especially since Cruz Azul will not want to be knocked out of the playoffs by their Clásico rivals.
Cruz Azul came out attacking and they had a penalty shout in just the second minute as Agustín Marchesín came off his line to stop Orbelín Pineda, getting the ball but also bringing down the player; then, when the keeper went to gather the loose ball, he brought down Yoshimar Yotún. But neither the referee nor VAR called a penalty and play continued.
Necaxa vs Monterrey – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Necaxa (6th) finished off the regular season with a 1-0 victory against Querétaro to send them into the playoffs with a four-game unbeaten streak. The Rayos are also unbeaten at home in four and lost just once at home in the regular season. However, they also had more draws than victories in the Estadio Victoria and accumulated the fewest home points of any of the playoff teams; they also scored the fewest home goals: 12 in eight games. Necaxa had a better record on the road, but they’ll still be looking to put their home-field advantage to good use as they start their quarterfinal series in this one. Continue reading
Tigres UANL coach Ricardo Ferretti and Puebla coach José Luis Sánchez Solá were both given one-game suspensions for insulting and/or showing a lack of respect towards players or members of the coaching staff after the pair were involved in an altercation.
América earned a 1-0 victory against Santos Laguna in a game that finished 10 vs 10. The result snaps a three-game winless streak for the Águilas and puts them firmly back into the playoff fight, while the Laguneros have now lost two of their last three and are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
América came out attacking as they looked to put their home-field advantage to good use, and they found the first chance in the 6th minute. Emanuel Aguilera got his head to a corner kick, but his attempt was deflected off Julio César Furch.
Toluca took, lost, and then regained the lead as they earned a 3-2 home victory against América. The result keeps the Diablos Rojos unbeaten in three and keeps them in playoff contention, while the Águilas are now winless in three.
The afternoon started off perfectly for the hosts, who took the lead in just the 4th minute. Federico Mancuello received a cut-back from Emmanuel Gigliotti and chipped the ball past Agustín Marchesín to make it 1-0.