Pumas UNAM and Club America will clash again in the Liguilla, now in the Semifinals with the First Leg being played in Ciudad Universitaria. Pumas will hope for a better start to the series than las year’s Quarterfinals, where they lost 4-1 at home in the First Leg which set up América for an eventual 6-2 aggregate win. Meanwhile, America will hope for a continuation of Miguel Herrera’s streak of good results against Pumas, in which he has never lost a game against Universitarios. This includes a 2-2 draw during the regular season in which Pumas had a 2-1 lead before América went down to nine men and were still able to earn a draw in the final play of the game.
Although Pumas finished in third place in the regular season, they weren’t the favorites against sixth-placed Tigres in their Quarterfinal match up. Not only was it because Tigres might have the best squad in all of Liga MX, but because they were a team that had been a headache for Pumas before, especially in Monterrey. However, despite losing 2-1, Pumas went on to surprise many in the First Leg, and while they didn’t have a good home record this season, they pulled off a 3-1 win in the return leg to book their ticket to the Semifinals.
America, on the other hand, were favored to go through against Toluca. Las Águilas currently find themselves in a 13-game unbeaten streak after just narrowly edging the Diablos Rojos in the Quarterfinals. It wasn’t easy for América, as they drew the First Leg 2-2 thanks to a last-minute goal by Alexis Vega. Then, in the return leg they took a 3-0 lead and a man advantage, only for Toluca to come within a goal of shocking Las Águilas at the Estadio Azteca.
At the end of the game, fans were not happy with Miguel Herrera’s tendency to sit back on leads and the Toluca series was a great example of the problem with that style of play. That said, Herrera has been masterful against Pumas, and there is no doubt that his side is favored against the Universitarios.
Pumas vs. America is a game of great importance. It’s your classic rivalry match in which more than anything the fans ask for a win against their most hated team. For both clubs, the match won’t likely be easy. America is coming to this game stronger than last season but so is Pumas. It should be an interesting match. One where Pumas look to vanish their demons for a second straight series, while America and Miguel Herrera look to keep their hegemony over the Universitarios.
Date: Thursday, December 6
Time: 6:45pm Pacific, 8:45pm Central, 9:45pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, México
TV: Univision Deportes Network (US-Spanish), Canal 5 Televisa (Mexico), TDN (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)