The last of the Round 16 matches this weekend in Mexico may just be the biggest. On Sunday, Club America and Atlante meet at Estadio Azteca in a match carrying enormous sway over the Group 2 standings. Coming into the weekend Atlante held the top spot of the group, clinging to a one-point lead over second-place America. Almost just as important as their points advantage, Atlante also carry a massive lead in goal differential over the rest of the group. This could end up being a major factor as the group standings continue to close.
The game between America and Atlante takes on even greater importance after the Saturday night wins by both Atlas and San Luis (the win moved Atlas at least temporarily into a tie for first with Atlante). With five teams in Group 2 still alive and fighting for playoff berths, every result carries enormous importance. In fact, a win for Atlante will guarantee them a spot in the postseason.
The match should be an entertaining one. In addition to the Liguilla implications, the game also matches up two of the best offenses in the league. Both teams play exciting attacking styles, and don't expect either coach to play it safe on Sunday even with so much at stake. The managers know that the only way to get a result will be to bring the action to the opposing defense. This is especially important for Atlante, who must challenge the America backline, a unit that has shown considerable vulnerabilities in recent weeks.
America and Atlante will also bring two of the league's top individual scorers to the match. Currently, America’s Angel Reyna leads the league with eleven goals. Atlante's Christian "Hobbit" Bermudez is close behind, tied for third with nine goals scored on the season.
While traveling to the Azteca to take on America is never an easy feat, Atlante catch America in the midst of a difficult stretch. America traveled to Uruguay last Wednesday to take on Nacional in Copa Libertadores play. And this coming week the Aguilas must travel back to South America to take on Santos in Brazil. This difficult stretch of scheduling may affect America personnel decisions in the match on Sunday. For Atlante, the players must bounce back after a disappointing outing this past weekend. Following two straight wins the Potros failed to get the job done at home against Necaxa last Saturday. A win would have punched their Liguilla tickets, but the draw left them with work to do. If they can’t get a result against America on Sunday, another difficult match awaits against Toluca to end the season. America also badly need the result, as their final match is on the road against Pumas next weekend.
On Sunday in Mexico City, these two old rivals (both teams used to share Estadio Azteca) will battle for Group 2 supremacy and a playoff berth. In addition to all the postseason implications, it should also be an incredibly entertaining and high scoring affair. Catch all the exciting action live when the America vs. Atlante match kicks off Sunday at 6pm est on Telefutura.