The first leg of the Cruz Azul vs America Final will take place at the Estadio Azul this Thursday, May 23, 2013 (7:00 PM Pacific). The Liga MX 2013 title is at stake. The rivalry between these two teams is huge, honor and pride are also on the line. Most importantly, the winner of this championship series will gain redemption.
Cruz Azul last won a Liga MX title in 1997, since then, they have participated in 4 championship series and lost them all. In fact, since 1997, Cruz Azul hadn’t won anything until this season’s Copa MX championship, which was much celebrated by the Cementeros. Redemption is defined as “the act of atoning for a fault or mistake”. Cruz Azul now have the chance to redeem themselves for 15 years of bringing nothing but disappointment and pain to their fans.
15 years is much too long for a team of Cruz Azul’s stature to go without winning a title. They are one of the “Big 4” in Mexico, and have been ridiculed for their decade and a half of constant failure. However, this season appears to be the season Cruz Azul ends all of this. They’ve won the Copa MX, which in itself is not a highly sought after prize, but the simple act of winning something, anything, after 15 years is huge. It liberates the players from the pressure of fearing failure, it motivates a fan base that has been accustomed to the “ya merito” (almost there) mentality. It brings hope, desire, and the added satisfaction of knowing that it can all be accomplished by defeating their most hated rival.
Club America has different ideas in mind, of course. This is the third playoff appearance in a row for America under the helm of coach Herrera. The previous 2 times, America was eliminated in the semifinals. They’ve finally got it done on the third try, thanks to a fantastic season and outstanding playoff matches. Will it be enough to overcome an extremely motivated Cruz Azul?
Cruz Azul vs America Final 2013 Prediction
The first leg of the Cruz Azul vs America championship will be intense, both on the pitch and in the stands. Cruz Azul needs to win at home, they cannot risk going into the Estadio Azteca on Sunday with an adverse result and expect to come out champions. Throughout both of their playoff series so far, Cruz Azul has played an aggressive style that has worked (9 goals scored). Any deviation from this offensive approach will result in failure, there is no reason to stop playing the style that got them this far.
America will play a smart game, Herrera has learned from his previous playoff appearances and will play a controlled style. A strong defense with quick passing on the counterattack to create scoring opportunities for the red-hot Benitez and Jimenez. Will it work? Depends, Herrera needs to create a balance: falling too far back and gifting possession to Cruz Azul can end badly for America. Too much on the attack, and Cruz Azul will rip them apart with the empty spaces creative. Balance is key for America.
So, what will my prediction be? The Cruz Azul vs America Final 2013 first leg will end in a 2-1 victory for Cruz Azul. The scoreline will be close, America is too good to be swept aside like Morelia and Santos were. In the end, the slim lead will mean that the title will still be up for grabs on Sunday at the Estadio Azteca.
Cruz Azul vs America Final Television
The Cruz Azul vs America match will be televised on Azteca America, this Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM Pacific.
Leave a note below and let me know what your prediction for the match is.