Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V.
Date: Sunday, November 11th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Eduardo Acosta Orea, 4TH: Alejandro Funk Villafañe
If you’re looking for a preview of the Liguilla Final, you may need to look no further as Club Santos (8W 4D 3L) hosts Club América (8W 5D 2L) in the final game before the teams go on hiatus for the international break. The teams sit third and second respectively in the Liga MX table heading into the penultimate week of regular season play.
Santos comes into the match on the heels of a dispiriting 2-1 loss to Querétaro (6W 4D 5L). Los Gallos were able to effectively blunt the usually dangerous attack of Santos, even after they brought on two extra forwards (Ayrton Preciado and Deinner Quiñones) to try and pull back an equalizer.
Still, Santos has two of Liga MX’s top four goalscorers in Julio Furch (11) and Jonathan Rodríguez (8) and have lost only one game at home in 2018 (April 22nd against Pumas). They’re tied for third-best goal differential, and they’re a rare club with no glaring weaknesses.
That said, Jesús Angulo will be out with a fractured left hand. The club confirmed he would undergo surgery on Saturday. In his place, look for Gerardo Arteaga to get the start at left back. Like Angulo, Arteaga has featured recently for El Tri and is a more than capable replacement.
Club América however is also a club with no glaring weaknesses, and one of the only clubs with a better goal differential than Santos. They’re coming off of a 1-1 draw with Toluca (8W 2D 5L) at home that felt a bit like a loss.
With Diego Lainez out with the Mexico U20s, Henry Martín got the start last week alongside Oribe Peralta. While Lainez brings more creativity and a flair for the dramatic, Martín is playing with a chip on his shoulder and can be lethal in front of goal.
This game will most likely come down to who can capitalize on one of the few mistakes their opponent makes. When these teams are on, those mistakes are very few and very far between.