One of two spots in the Liga MX final will be contested between teams that clearly stand out above the rest: Monterrey, the league leaders and highest scoring team in the regular season, and America, who are arguably the most popular team remaining and are no strangers to winning Liga MX titles.
Of course, each side share one common thing heading into this first leg. Each side won its quarterfinal by beating their biggest rival in the process. Monterrey reached the semifinals but had to survive a spirited comeback from Tigres, while Club America made up for a Chivas away goal at the Azteca to deservedly win the Clasico Nacional.
Monterrey's performance in the second leg against Tigres must worry Rayados coach Antonio "Turco" Mohamed, as he saw his side concede twice in the opening 45 minutes. Monterrey, however, have top-class players such as Edwin Cardona, Dorlan Pabon, and Carlos Sanchez that can prove all the difference in this tie.
In contrast, everything that followed Chivas' goal in the second leg was along the lines of what Ignacio Ambriz sees as Club America's biggest strength, waiting to take advantage of the spaces created by the other team. With Chivas pushed up the field, a brilliant breakaway sequence ended with an Oribe Peralta finish to seal the tie in Las Aguilas' favor.
Given that, Monterrey will have to play at their most clinical, and an away goal at the Estadio Azteca could be vital in this game. In fact, both sides already met once this season at the Azteca, ending in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Does this set the trend for these semifinals? If both sides play at their best, this promises to be another exciting Liguilla clash.
Match date/time: Wednesday 9:30pm EST, 8:30pm local
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
TV: Univision and Univision Deportes Network