The second leg of the America vs Toluca Liga MX Liguilla semifinal will be played this Sunday, December 8, 2013 (3:00 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Azteca. Toluca won the first leg of this semifinal 2-1, that match was held at the Estadio Nemesio Diez this past Thursday. Due to the away goals rule, America would qualify to the Liga MX Final with a 1-0 win, a 2-1 win, or any other victory where the goal difference is +2. A loss or draw would eliminate Club America.
Early on during the first leg of the semifinal series between Club America and Toluca, it appeared Club America would be leaving the Estadio Nemesio Diez with an important victory. America was the superior team during the first half, nullifying all Toluca attacks, and scoring a goal of its own.
Coach Cardozo made a key change during half time, removing Sinha, and replacing him with Raul Nava. Although taking out Toluca’s playmaker could have turned out to be a huge mistake, it ended up working for Cardozo quite well. Toluca was much faster with the ball in the second half, creating plenty of trouble for Club America’s slower defense.
Toluca would go on to take the lead after two fantastic strikes, and finished off the game with an important 2-1 victory. Even though Club America lost, they scored what could turn out to be a key away goal. Due to the away goals rule, America only needs to win 1-0 at the Estadio Azteca to advance to the Final. If the match ends 2-1 in favor of America, the Mexico City based team would still move on to the Final, due to the higher seed rule of the Liga MX playoffs.
Miguel Herrera has already announced which players he will line-up for the second leg semifinal against Toluca. It will be the exact same lineup as the first leg, for the exception of Topo Valenzuela, who will be replaced by Adrian Aldrete due to injury. Here is Club America’s expected lineup: Moisés Muñoz, Paul Aguilar, Francisco Rodríguez, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Adrián Aldrete, Miguel Layún, Osvaldo Martínez, Juan Carlos Medina, Rubens Sambueza, Luis Gabriel Rey and Raúl Jiménez.
Club America will start off with its usual 5-3-2 formation.
America vs Toluca Prediction
Miguel Herrera needs to rally his team and lead them to victory at the Estadio Azteca, anything other than a win eliminates America from the Liga MX liguilla. Cardozo knows that a draw is all his team needs, although defense is not his team’s specialty. Furthermore, Cardozo knows that scoring an away goal or two at the Estadio Azteca could prove to be the difference maker. Toluca had the best offense during the regular season, where it scored 33 goals, and I believe Cardozo will use a somewhat offensive lineup at the Azteca.
Miguel Herrera’s Club America had the best home record during the regular season, earning 22 out of a possible 24 points. America needs to draw from the strength they build at home, given that they will be facing a tough, and motivated rival that believes it has what it takes to knockout the tournament’s #1 seed.
I believe this second leg of this semifinal will be very close, and the winner won’t be determined until the last minutes of the match. However, due to America’s great home record, and talented squad, I predict the America vs Toluca second leg semifinal will end in a 2-1 win for Club America. The 2-1 victory will give America the series victory due to the higher seeding rule, and will thus give the Mexico City based team a shot at the bicampeonato.
America vs Toluca TV Schedule
The America vs Toluca match will be televised this Sunday, December 8, 2013 on Univision at 3:00 PM Pacific.
America vs Toluca 2-0 Highlights
The America vs Toluca second leg ended in a 2-0 win for the ‘aguilas’, giving the winners the pass into the Apertura 2013 Final.