Game: Pumas UNAM vs. Club América
Date: Sunday, January 21
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 10:00 AM Pacific
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Mexico City)
There are certain games that most fútbol fans would circle on their calendars. For fans of Liga MX, the Clásico Capitalino between Club América and Pumas UNAM would certainly be one of those games. The two sides from Mexico City have met 143 times across all competitions since their first meeting on July 1st, 1962. Since the first match, which Club América won by a score of 2-0, meetings between the two teams have grown into one of the must see rivalry matches in Liga MX.
In the past few tournaments Pumas have been struggling rather mightily. Over the course of their last thirty matches, the squad from Mexico City have won a mere 7 games. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Pumas (considered one of Mexico’s four grandes) finished in last place.
However, things are starting to look up. Pumas have won their last two matches behind four goals from Nicolás Castillo and find themselves sitting on top of the Liga MX standings with a plus three goal difference. Last week’s 3-1 thrashing of Atlas at home was one of the best performances from Pumas over the last calendar year. The victory was especially impressive due to the fact that it followed an emotional roller coaster of a games against Pachuca in the first week of the season.
The fast paced start to the 2018 Clausura season has created an electric energy surrounding all things Pumas. In fact, tickets for the Sunday afternoon clash against Club América had sold out by Wednesday. The jam packed Estadio Universitario Olímpico should create an electric atmosphere come game time.
Club América will make the short trip across town to face their rivals on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw with Pachuca in their home opener at the Estadio Azteca. Las Águilas had the lead on two separate occasions against Pachuca, but were unable to take all three points from the match.
In many ways, the match against Pachuca highlighted many of the same problems that plagued Club América during the 2017 Apertura season. Despite managing to break down the Tuzos defense and score on two occasions, las Águilas looked like they were struggling to create chances. It wasn’t until Mateus Uribe moved to the wing that Club América really displayed any sort of offensive prowess during the match.
Miguel Herrera and his coaching staff will also have to deal with the loss of Paul Aguilar for an extended period of time after the most experienced Club América defender picked up a knee injury in the match against Pachuca. Las Águilas will also be without William Da Silva who has a foot infection.
Despite the initial bleak outlook, las Águilas are not without all hope going into the Clásico Capitalino. If rumors are to be believed, Club América’s big winter signings, Jérémy Ménez and Andrés Ibargüen could be making their debut for las Águilas in this game.
Expect a fast paced and throughly enjoyable match with an electric atmosphere when these two squads clash on Sunday afternoon. If Nico Castillo can keep up his goalscoring form Pumas should be able to defeat Club América. However, as in every rivalry match, you never know what could happen!