The Liga MX Final has arrived. This is your preview.
1. Club America vs. 2. Tigres
A win on Sunday would catapult Club America to the very top of Mexican soccer. As it stands, Club America and Chivas are tied with 11 titles each, and the only thing stopping America from winning their 12th is Tigres.
Perhaps it hasn’t been the most exciting Liguilla in recent times but, it would be a mistake to think that the two best teams in Mexico didn’t make it to this final stage of the tournament. Both teams certainly have their arguments; Tigres continues on an undefeated run that started on August 30th, and Club America finished top of the table at the end of the regular season.
For America, it has been a whirlwind of off-field rumors that have plagued their run to the final. Club America manager, Antonio Mohamed, has been the target of headlines stating that his time at America has arrived to an end, and a replacement is already set for his departure. Likewise, America’s starting right-back, Paul Aguilar, has been separated from the first-team for what is rumored to be disciplinary issues.
On the actual field, however, America have been clinical. Backed up by a convincing second half performance in their second leg quarter-final affair versus Pumas, Club America went into Monterrey and calmly got the job done with a 3-0 win. Few players for America have been more superb than Jesus Molina. The midfielder has been at the heart of America’s team and has dictated every phase of the game in the midfield. Moreover, while Paul Aguilar’s absence might seem like a heavy blow, Rubens Sambueza’s eventual return from injury will be received delightfully by the America faithful.
On the other hand, Tigres have been unspectacular but efficient. Critics of Jose Mourinho would have a field day with this team, but nothing has stopped Tigres from reaching the Liga MX final. The absence of their defender and captain, Juninho, was suppose to slow things down, but they have turned things around and used his absence as inspiration. Their control in the midfield, and their defending has been superb. Furthermore, their goalkeeper, Nahuel Guzman, has been in breathtaking form.
It is impossible to predict a final. Both team’s defensive schemes would suggest it is going to be a tight battle in the midfield and a series with few goals. But nothing is written in stone, and at the end of the day, one team will be lifting the trophy in the very stage that epitomizes the pinnacle of Mexican soccer, the Estadio Azteca. Welcome to the Liga MX Final.