The Liga MX semifinals are here and it all kicks off with the Clasico Capitalino at the Estadio Azteca on Thursday night. For the sixth time in the last eight seasons, Club America are back in the final four and looking for a place in the Liga MX final. In front of Las Aguilas, though, are crosstown rivals Pumas UNAM.
The Universitarios finished the regular season first in the league table, but stringed a pair of less than convincing performances in the quarterfinals. The "superlideres" had the chance to capitalize on Veracruz's late regular season woes, but instead could very easily have finished the season on a low.
In seven previous playoff meetings with Club America, Las Aguilas have triumphed on six occasions. With that in mind, the stakes are higher than ever. For Pumas, it is make history or fall short once again.
Meanwhile, with most headlines focused on the Clasico Capitalino, Tigres take on Toluca in the other semifinal. Beyond not losing a game since late September, Tigres are now looking like the Liga MX's main challengers. Their quarterfinal win over Chiapas came courtesy of the brilliance of Andre-Pierre Gignac and it is hard to factor out the Ricardo Ferretti element in all of this. Tigres are a strong managed team and that makes them a real challenge to the remaining three sides in this competition.
Toluca have no alternative and for coach Jose Saturnino Cardozo, this may be his last chance to make a push for the title. As a player, Cardozo won everything with Toluca, but he hasn't had the same luck as a coach. A win against Tigres would only add to his legend with Toluca. A defeat could mean the end of his time in front of the Diablos Rojos.
Semifinals schedule (all times ET)
No. 6 Club America vs. No. 1 Pumas UNAM - Thursday, 8 p.m., Unimas and Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo (Streaming)
No. 5 Tigres UANL vs. No. 2 Toluca - Wednesday, 10 p.m., Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo (Streaming)
Pumas UNAM vs. Club America - Sunday, 1 p.m., Univision and Univision Deportes Network and and Univision Deportes En Vivo (Streaming)
Toluca vs. Tigres - Sunday, 7 p.m. Univision Deportes Network and and Univision Deportes En Vivo (Streaming)