Match: Club América vs. Tigres UANL
Date: Wednesday, November 29th
Time: 10:00 PM Eastern, 9:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Pacific, 3:00 AM UTC
Venue: Estadio Azteca (Ciudad de México)
Both Club América and Tigres come into their semifinal matchup following back to back draws against their quarterfinal opponents. However, these two sets of back to back quarterfinal draws could not have better demonstrated completely different styles of play from two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of current form.
Club América have been playing some of their worst fútbol in recent memory and only managed to advance through to the semifinals thanks to their higher position in the table, some spectacular saves by goalkeeper Augustín Marchesín, and Cruz Azul’s overall inability to convert on their plethora of chances. There was absolutely nothing inspiring about the way that las Águilas played. Miguel Herrera lined his team up in a conservative defensive shape and they responded by playing in a manner that looked like they were more afraid of losing than anything else. A team of Club América’s size and standing should never be playing scared to lose. Rather, they should be looking to win at absolutely all costs. Unfortunately for las Águilas, however, this killer instinct and desire to win at all costs seems to have abandoned them.
Tigres on the other hand have been playing exactly as you would expect from a team under the guidance and watchful eye of legendary coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferreti. Over the course of their quarterfinal matchup against León, Tigres played in their usual possession based manner. This allowed the star studded squad from Monterrey to control the flow of the game and prevent the opposition from having many chances to score. However, the Tigres defense was caught out two times by counterattacks from León. In the first match of the tie, Tigres fell behind early and were forced to rely on individual talent in order to mount a comeback. Fortunately for Tigres they have one of the best squads in all of the Americas and found little difficulty leveling the score. In the second match, in very unlike Tigres fashion, León were able to work themselves into the game and actually level the score.
Miguel Herrera and Club América should definitely use the León counterattacking strategy as a way to approach this matchup against the much more powerful Tigres squad. If las Águilas cannot capitalize on the few mistakes made by the team from Monterrey their quest for historic and record breaking title number 13 will all but surely come to an end.