Just when Club America gave the appearance of a dominant force by winning its first two games in a league starting the season with a multitudes of draws, it lost balance and identity. Tigres exposed America’s flaws on its home field in a 3-0 rout to end the mystique of the centennial season last Saturday. Before losing Renato Ibarra because of a red card, Javier Aquino gave Tigres the go-ahead goal with a chipped shot from the left to the right of Hugo Gonzalez’s goal. Even when it played with the standard eleven players, America never showed and Tigres delivered.
This week, America travels to Veracruz to take on los Tiburones Rojos at the Estadio Luis “Pirata” Fuente. Both teams enter Friday’s matchup on the down swing with Veracruz losing against Atlas 1-0 by their own doing, an own goal with controversy surrounding it. Before the own goal, the ball had gone out of the field, but a slide from Càndido Ramirez and an unfortunate tip from Leobardo López led to the only goal of the game. The loss to Atlas kept the team leveled at three points on the table and sparked a reaction from the Veracruz side about the match’s officiating.
From Veracruz’s standpoint, the game against America carries some focused attention because of the refereeing, while America’s attention rests on its goalkeeper and uncertain offense. Hugo Gonzalez’s performance against Tigres clearly led to little acclaim as the Tigres offense baited him for three capitalizing shots. The 3-0 scoreline thus leads to Moisés Muñoz’s return to the starting lineup after a minor injury. On the attacking front, America’s game against Tigres showed just how much the team will miss Oribe Peralta while he is on duty for the Mexico Olympic squad. Silvio Romero took Peralta’s spot in the lineup last time out, but showed little threat and growing pains as the offense failed to mesh.
Veracruz’s forwards and attacking midfield don’t pose the cause for concern as los Tigres, but America needs Darwin Quintero and Romero to play livelier than they did versus Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s side. The loss to Tigres wretched out the momentum the team had going. Now with a loss in its record, a win from America can calm both its fans and its players with the weight of the centennial on them.
Veracruz 1-1 Club America - Feburary 13, 2016 – Liga MX
Rubens Sambueza gave Club America the lead in the first half, but Veracruz came from a goal down to rescue a draw at home.
Match date/time: Friday 10pm EST, 9pm local
Venue: Estadio Luis “Pirata” Fuente, Veracruz, Mexico
TV: Azteca America (US - Spanish), Sky HD (Mexico), Azteca 7 (Mexico)