The America vs Monterrey semifinal match will take place on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 (7:00 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Tecnologico. Monterrey will be the host during this first leg, they will need to get a good result in order to survive the visit to the imposing Estadio Azteca. For their part, Club America needs to score an away goal, as this can provide to be key to decide the winner of this semifinal series.
Club America is coming off a tight series against cross-city rival Pumas. America was able to win both games, the first one at C.U. by 1-0. and the return leg at the Estadio Azteca 2-1. Pumas was never really able to threaten America, their lack of offense proved to be too difficult to overcome. America did its part, and won a series everyone expected them to win.
Monterrey also got to face a hated cross-city rival, their arch-nemesis: Tigres. Monterrey ended up winning the series against all odds; Monterrey defeated the #1 seeded Tigres, even though they were ranked as the 8th seed (technically 9th). Monterrey virtually won the quarterfinal series in the first leg, when they defeated Tigres 1-0. This forced Tigres to keep a clean sheet against Monterrey at home, which they were unable to do.
When you look at the regular season statistics of Monterrey and America, you would suppose that Club America is a huge favorite. America is after all the #2 seed, and they are facing the lowly seeded Monterrey. However, regular season statistics mean nothing in the Liguilla (just go ask El Tuca Ferreti). Club America is a good team, however, they will face a Monterrey squad that cannot truly be considered an underdog.
Monterrey has been playing extremely well these past 4-5 weeks: doing enough to get into the playoffs, defeating a tough Santos in the CONCACAF Champions League final, and eliminating the #1 seeded Tigres from the playoffs. Humberto Suazo seems to be playing close to the level we have expected of him, and Vucetich is a genius when it comes to knockout tournaments. That is why Club America and Miguel Herrera know that Monterrey will be an extremely difficult opponent.
America vs Monterrey Liguilla Prediction
The first leg of the America vs Monterrey semifinal should prove to be an exciting encounter. Both teams possess enough offensive talent to score given even the slightest chance. However, Miguel Herrera has learned from his previous failures in the semifinals, he will not go into the Estadio Tecnologico guns blazing.
Herrera will likely use a conservative approach, similar to the away match at Pumas: strong defense, with long passing to take advantage of the speed that Raul Jimenez and Benitez provide. Vucetich will be forced to go out and look for a goal, they can’t travel to the Estadio Azteca with anything other than a win and expect to come out with a ticket to the championship series.
The America vs Monterrey Liguilla will end in a 1-1 draw that gives America a slight advantage for the second leg. It will all be decided in the second leg at the Estadio Azteca.
America vs Monterrey 2013 Television
The Monterrey vs America match will be televised on Unimas this Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM Pacific.