Match: Cruz Azul vs. FC Juárez
Date: Tuesday, October 2nd
Time: 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 5:00 PM Pacific, 1:00 AM UTC
Venue: Estadio Azteca (Mexico City)
FC Juárez returns to the historic Estadio Azteca for the second time in as many weeks to take on Cruz Azul with a spot in the Copa MX semifinals on the line.
This time however, Los Bravos come into their second ever match at the historic Mexico City stadium as a giant slayer. Juárez defeated another of Mexico’s biggest clubs in Club América on penalties last Tuesday in the first knockout round of Copa MX action at the venue.
Similarly to their last visit to Mexico City, FC Juárez brings an undefeated Ascenso MX record with them. Coached by former Mexico international Gabriel Caballero, Los Bravos are currently 7-2-0 in Ascenso MX play. They sit in second place on 23 points, behind only Atlante who have 24 points from 10 matches played - one more than FC Juárez.
In their last league match against Club Atlético Zacatepec at home, Los Bravos converted a last gasp penalty from Leandro Carrijo to ensure that all three points would be staying in the northern frontera. The penalty marked Carrijo’s 50th goal, making him the all time leading scorer in club history. The match also saw Eder Borelli mark his 100th appearance with Los Bravos.
Cruz Azul comes into the quarterfinal matchup against FC Juárez following a tough run of matches. In their last Liga MX match against Pachuca, Los Cementeros were handily defeated by a score of 3-1 with all goals coming in the first half. Nothing about that match against Pachuca showed the early season strength that helped Pedro Caixinha’s side reach the top of the Liga MX table.
On paper, the top of the Liga MX table should easily defeat their Ascenso MX opposition. However, fútbol is a game played on the pitch - not on paper. As Club América learned last week, Los Bravos are far from the typical Ascenso MX pushover side. Cruz Azul would be wise to put this game beyond any doubt with several early goals to ensure that they don’t suffer a similar fate as their cross-town rivals Club América did last week.