Game: Club Atlético Monarcas Morelia vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Tuesday, March 14th
Time: 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Central, 11:00 PM Eastern (Note that times listed are for the United States. Mexico has not switched to Daylight Saving Time, so Mexican time zones will be one hour behind)
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
Two of the four teams that were at the center of the maelstrom that stopped Mexican soccer return to the pitch tonight as Xoloitzcuintles Tijuana hosts Monarcas Morelia in the 2017 Clausura Copa MX quarterfinal. Tijuana defeated Club América 1-0 before Pablo Aguilar assaulted referee Fernando Hernández after the final whistle, while Monarcas defeated Toluca in penalties after seeing Enrique Triverio, Jesús Méndez, and Alfredo Talavera sent off.
The winner of tonight’s match will face the winner of the Santos Laguna-Cruz Azul match that starts at 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM PDT).
The extra rest for Tijuana may have done some good, as the club has played two games a week for the better part of three months. Guido Rodríguez had picked up a slight injury against Pachuca on March 3 but wound up playing 83 minutes against Club América a week ago. The added rest should allow Miguel Herrera to field a relatively healthy and well-rested side. Bear in mind also that Monarcas has a six and a half hour flight just to get to Tijuana on top of everything that’s transpired over the past couple of weeks.
Morelia sits at a respectable tenth place in the Liga MX table, and perhaps more importantly has performed well enough that they’re now one point ahead of Veracruz in the Tabla de Descenso - the relegation table. While there are still matches to be played, a good showing in the Copa MX tournament could provide the lift needed to avoid playing in the Ascenso MX next season. Peruvian striker Raúl Ruidíaz will present problems for Xolos defense, however Ecuadorian midfielder Cristian Penilla leads Morelia with three goals in the Copa MX competition.