The second leg of the America vs Monterrey semifinal will take place this Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM Pacific time, at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The first leg ended in an exciting 2-2 draw at a packed Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey. In order to advance, Monterrey must either defeat Club America, or earn a draw where they score at least 3 goals. Not an easy task, but not impossible either.
Monterrey can be considered the surprise team of the tournament, they snuck in as a #9 seed (thanks to Queretaro being relegated) into the playoffs, and were able to defeat the #1 seeded Tigres. However, they ran up against Club America, a team that had positioned itself as a title contender early on in the season. America would not be swept aside as easily as Tigres was.
Frankly speaking, the 2-2 draw at home is a bad result for Monterrey, they will be forced to go look for the win at the Estadio Azteca. It will be interesting to see whether Miguel Herrera plays a counterattacking style, hoping to catch Monterrey too far forward in their attempts to attack. Or, goes out with an attacking style, something which might lead this to be an incredible match.
There are 2 players that will play a huge factor in this match: Chucho Benitez and Chupete Suazo. Benitez scored both goals for Club America at the Estadio Tecnologico, and Suazo scored on a fantastic free kick, and was an always present danger against America. Miguel Herrera has told the Mexican media that Club America is Chucho-dependent. But, which team wouldn’t be?
Chucho has shown over and over again that he is a top striker that could easily excel in most European leagues, Club America is truly blessed to have him in their ranks. If Chucho has another great game, Monterrey would be all but eliminated.
Not to be left too far behind, Suazo is a consistent striker that ranks just below Benitez in terms of quality. Suazo is the type of clutch player that can score a goal when his team needs him the most. If he is not at a 100% playing level at the Estadio Azteca, Monterrey will not move on to the final. The Rayados need goals, and Suazo is their best hope at getting them.
America vs Monterrey Semifinal 2013
The Club America vs Monterrey semifinal is likely to turn out to be a scoring fest. Although a prudent tactic for America would be to play a counterattacking style, given that Monterrey must score, I suspect Miguel Herrera will go on the attack. A 0-0 draw is a hard score to hold for an entire match, and there is no reason to hold back fantastic strikers like Benitez and Jimenez. Expect to see both teams attack.
Can Monterrey win at the Estadio Azteca? It’s possible, but unlikely. In the return leg quarterfinal against Tigres, Monterrey simply didn’t look as comfortable as it did playing at home. I’m giving Club America the edge on this match. However, if there was ever anyone who could pull off this upset, it’s Vucetich, the man is a genius when it comes to knockout stages. I predict the America vs Monterrey Semifinal 2013 will end in a 2-1 victory for Club America. This gives the opportunity to setup a Club America vs Cruz Azul final, a series that could be the highest rated Liga MX championship in recent memory.
America vs Monterrey Semifinal 2013 Television
The match will be shown on Univision this Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM Pacific.