A clash of teams that might be going in different directions will be held in Copa MX, as the Semifinals between Cruz Azul and Leon will determine which team faces Monterrey in the Copa MX Final. A Leon team that looks on the rise with new coach Ignacio Ambriz will try to surprise a Cruz Azul team that just lost first place in Liga MX. Cruz Azul will have the benefit of being at home, but might face a distraction in their weekend Liga MX match, where they face their main rival and the team that took 1st place from them, Club America.
While Cruz Azul has had one of their best seasons in recent times, the timing of this Copa MX semifinal might come in what is the closest to a down time for the team. Although they have been in first place almost the whole season, they just lost it last week after falling to Queretaro. Their main rival, America, took first place after defeating Xolos. To make matters more interesting, America and Cruz Azul will face each other on Saturday in the most hyped “Clasico Joven” in recent history. Cruz Azul might be distracted with the less important Copa MX but knowing they are one step from a final of a trophy, should motivate them enough. They will need to do so to face a Leon team that has improved a lot under new Coach Ambriz, who just happens to be the current Copa MX champion after winning the last Copa MX with Necaxa.
Leon has been raising their level of play under Ambriz. Not only are they in the Copa MX finals, but they just came from an away visit to Ambriz’s old team Necaxa. The 2-0 win ended coach Michel Leaño’s tenure in Necaxa. But even with the improvement, Leon is still not in Liguilla territory, and the somewhat unjust loss at home against Morelia in their last Liga MX home game might have been too big of a loss of points to get there. This might make the Copa MX trophy a bigger incentive to win, unlike a Cruz Azul that needs the Liga MX title or otherwise the season will be a failure.
While Cruz Azul has the most to lose and the most pressure, being at home and having the better squad should be helpful to them. Still, Leon has enjoyed an upswing in play and they have a good history against Cruz Azul in recent years. It should be an interesting game that might not have a clear favorite.
Date: Wednesday, October 24
Time: 6:30pm Pacific, 8:30pm Central, 9:30pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
TV: Univision Deportes (US-Spanish), TDN (Mexico), ESPN2 (Mexico), FOX Sports 2(Mexico),
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)