Two of Mexico’s most popular teams will face off in a game that might be the last chance for both. Chivas will need to bounce back after leaving the Liguilla zone, and especially after back to back loses against their biggest rival, America, in the biggest match in Mexican football. Meanwhile, Pumas might be paying more attention to their Copa MX Semifinal match against FC Juarez but should be pumped up for their biggest home match left in the regular season.
Chivas’ ego has been severely hit by the back to back losses to America, which were not only embarrassing but knocked the team out of Copa MX and also out of Liguilla qualification. To make matters worse, they will be without Jesus Molina (suspension), Miguel Ponce and Alan Pulido (injuries). The worse news it that they will be without Carlos Cisneros, who during the FIFA break was informed he will be out for 6 months. Still, Chivas could be revitalized knowing that it’s now or never for them and that they might have a favorable crowd in Ciudad Universitaria, no small feat. But with the fans’ criticism of coach Jose Cardozo and an all time high, and with one of the worst field experiences possible in Mexico (altitude plus 12 o’clock heat), it might be a tough experience to expect the Chivas comeback.
Pumas has had an even worse Liga MX season than Chivas. Like Chivas, they will come back after a loss (1-0 to Puebla) and with their hopes dangling on the edge for a Liguilla. Yet on the other hand, Pumas will face FC Juarez on Wednesday for a semifinal Copa MX game. It will still be a matter of debate if they will have the home crowd against the very popular Chivas. Still, Pumas will have the climate advantage, and with the right motivation, might give fans some joy in one of their final games.
While normally being one of the most popular games, the continuing announcement in Twitter may show that Sunday’s game will not be sold out, a result of both team’s struggles. That said, the lack of opportunities to see their home team might mean that Chivas will have the majority of support, something very unusual at Pumas. At the end, the current level of play of both teams show that there is no clear favorite and both teams might turn things up to either surprise the Liga MX or continue to disappoint with their performances.
Date: Sunday, March 31
Time: 11:00am Pacific, 1:00pm Central, 2:00pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico
TV: Univision Deportes (US-Español), Univision (US-Español), Canal de las Estrellas (Mexico), TDN (Mexico)