Two weeks later, Liga MX is set to come back and have their final between Monterrey and America. People might have forgotten but both Monterrey and America got their tickets to the final after tough semifinal clashes against Necaxa and Morelia respectively. In between, Monterrey traveled to Qatar to play in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup and got a third-place finish in what was the best performance from a Mexican club in the competition. America meanwhile trained at home and will need to show they aren’t rusty as they face a Monterrey team hyped off their trip to Qatar.
While Monterrey wasn’t the first team to get a third-place title, they had the best performance of all of them, as they pushed Liverpool to a last minute winner in a 2-1 loss that has been the closest a Mexican team has got to beating a UEFA team in the competition. The great performance in the Club World Cup has many people favoring Monterrey in the final but they will have to get past the weariness of the long travel. While they benefit from having regular activity as opposed to America, they might need to get past the not so easy trip.
America has so far lived up to their history as comeback kings in Liguillas. After losing at home in the Quarterfinal against Tigres, they looked to be done but came back to beat Tigres 4-2 in Monterrey. Then against Morelia, they lost 2-0 away. Without an away goal, America also looked set to lose out but they once again came back to get a 2-0 win.
That being said, unlike against Tigres where they had played better and deserved the result, it seemed that Morelia had lost the game more than America had won it. Still, America are a historic team and they have rosen to the occasion before. They will need to do so against a Monterrey team that has been at a higher level than any team America has faced in the Liguilla so far.
Monterrey’s coach Antonio Mohamed has never won a final in Monterrey. After the great result in Qatar, he has a chance to complete two goals in finally getting a Liga MX title with Monterrey and against the club that replaced him prior to him getting the title. If they plan to do so, the first leg game is key, just as it has been through the course of the Liguilla. On the other hand, America will need a great game as they face a Monterrey team that has been more active and playing better. If they want to be poised for another comeback, they have to keep it close or they might not have enough on Sunday at Estadio Azteca.
Date: Thursday, December 26
Time: 5:36pm Pacific, 7:36pm Central, 8:36pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Monterrey, Mexico
TV: FOX Deportes (US-Español), Fox Sports 1 (US-English), Fox Sports 2 (Mexico)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com