The America vs Toluca first leg Liga MX Liguilla semifinal match will take place this Thursday, December 5, 2013 (5:00 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. Although Toluca could be regarded as the underdog due to its #5 seed (America is #1), this series will be much more even than the standings imply, America will have an extremely difficult time at the Nemesio Diez.
Toluca had the best offense during the regular season, where it scored 33 goals. Against Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals, Toluca was once again able to fire on all cylinders, and cruised past the Mexico City based team by a comfortable aggregate score of 4-1. Toluca essentially won the series in the first leg, when it defeated Cruz Azul 3-0 at the Nemesio Diez.
Against Club America, Toluca will once again attempt to seal the series victory by starting off with a first leg home win. The Nemesio Diez will be completely packed, as all 27,000 tickets for the match were sold out by Wednesday. Toluca should get an extra boost from the packed stadium, as this team is rarely able to fill the stands. Furthermore, just the way it’s been all season long for Toluca, Sinha must show up in a big way, given that he is the motor that runs the powerful Toluca offense.
Club America came out of the quarterfinal series against Tigres with a very slim victory. The aggregate score was 3-3, but America qualified due to the away goals rule – the first leg in Monterrey ended in a 2-2 draw. Through both games, Club America looked nothing liked the powerful team we saw all season long. Miguel Herrera’s men were supposed to dominate what was considered to be the weakest team in the playoffs.
Perhaps the long travel to New Zealand had an effect on the 10 Club America players that were part of Herrera’s Mexican National team. Maybe it’s all the talk surrounding Herrera’s departure and Turco Mohamed’s arrival to Coapa that had the squad playing without much heart. Whatever it was, Herrera needs to fix it immediately, Toluca will be a much tougher side than Tigres, and will capitalize on any Americanista mistakes.
America vs Toluca Prediction
If you simply look at the regular season standings, you would assume Club America will have an easy time against Toluca. After all, America was the #1 seed, finishing ten points ahead of Toluca, with a similarly effective offense, and a much better defense. Nonetheless, the playoffs are all about who is in better form. Toluca looked fantastic against Cruz Azul, while Club America had a very tough time against a Tigres they were expected to dominate.
I believe this semifinal series will be very close, and the winner won’t be determined until the return leg at the Estadio Azteca. However, due to Toluca’s great home game against Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals, I believe the first leg of the America vs Toluca semifinal will end in a 2-1 win for the Diablos Rojos. Eventually, somehow, Club America will win its ticket to the Liga MX final at the Estadio Azteca, but on Thursday night, Sinha and co. will win.
America vs Toluca TV Schedule
The America vs Toluca match will be televised this Thursday, December 5, 2013 on Unimas at 5:00 PM Pacific.