FC Juarez and Necaxa are set to face off in the first leg of the Liga MX promotion playoff at the Estadio Victoria in Aguascalientes. The game will feature two teams with very different histories in Mexican football.
Los Bravos de FC Juarez were founded less than a year ago. However, during their short existence they managed to punch their ticket to the Liga MX promotion playoff by winning their first ever tournament; the 2015 Apertura. Los Bravos took the league by storm and helped put Juarez, the former murder capitol of the world, back on the map for something positive. They finished the regular season in second place and went onto beat Atlante in the Liguilla finals.
Los Rayos de Necaxa were founded 92 years ago. They are one of Mexico's most storied teams. Their trophy box includes 14 trophies from the amateur era and 17 trophies from the professional football era. The team also finished third in the 2000 edition of the Club World Cup. During the 2015 Apertura season los Rayos finished in tenth place and failed to qualify for the Liguilla.
Juarez didn't enjoy the same successes of the 2015 Apertura tournament during the 2016 Clasura. For much of the season the they struggled to score and looked like a completely different side than the team from the previous tournament. They missed the Liguilla and finished in tenth place.
However, towards the end of the season, los Bravos seemed to have regained their lost form. They went undefeated in their final four games of the season, with a draw and three consecutive victories. Their last win against first place Leones Negros helped ensure the second leg of the Liga MX playoff tie would be in Juarez.
Los Rayos looked like a completely revitalized team during the Clasura 2016 season. They finished second place during the regular season, with a strong goal oriented style of play. During this time they also managed to get all the way to the final of the Copa MX before losing to Veracruz in the final. However, en route to the final of the Copa MX, they played very strong and managed to defeat several Liga MX sides.
In the two previous matches between Bravos and Rayos, it was Necaxa who took home all three points. The first match, which was played in Juarez, was a hotly contested affair, with Necaxa scoring two goals in quick succession to win 3-1. The second match was a tense affair that saw Necaxa squeak out a 1-0 victory in Aguascalientes.
Match date/time: Saturday 9pm EST, 8pm local
Venue: Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)