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2020 Copa MX knockout stages begin to crown year’s only champion

There will only be one Copa MX champion per year in Mexico now, and it’s time to start the process of finding it.

FC Juarez v America - Copa MX 2019
Club America won the last Copa MX in 2019, beating FC Juarez, 1-0, in the final.
Photo by Alvaro Avila/Jam Media/Getty Images

The 2020 Copa MX knockout stages are finally here with the eighth finals taking place Tuesday (Jan. 21) and Wednesday (Jan. 22) of this week.

Per new tournament rules, which were revealed last May, just one champion will be crowned per calendar year in Mexico’s cup competition. This is the first official year under the new format which will also have two-legged knockout stages for the first time. As a reminder, the competition’s group stages occurred during the fall concurrent with the Liga MX’s Apertura season.

** all times are in CT

Venados FC vs. Pachuca

Leg 1: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 28, 7:00 p.m.

The Ascenso MX doesn’t start until this weekend, so all second-tier clubs in the Copa will be making their season debuts. Up first is Venados FC, which struggled last season in their league, winning only three games and finishing with 12 points. They face a Pachuca squad also far from its best and who have a new face on the sidelines in Uruguayan gaffer Paulo Pezzolano; the youngest coach in Liga MX at 36 years old.

Pachuca v Chivas - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
Pezzolano is the youngest coach in the Liga MX at 36 years old. He shares an age with Pachuca playmaker Rubens Sambueza
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Queretaro vs. FC Juarez

Leg 1: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 29, 9:00 p.m.

The first all-Liga MX match on the table, both clubs come from impressive performances this past weekend in league play. Both of these squads have shown they can score at will, and with elimination on the line, this could be one of the more entertaining games on the schedule.

FC Juarez v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
FC Juarez were last year’s Copa MX runners-up while still competing in Mexico’s second division.
Photo by Alvaro Avila/Jam Media/Getty Images

Atletico San Luis vs. Tijuana

Leg 1: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 28, 9:00 p.m.

Atletico Madrid-backed San Luis host Xolos, who are coming off a horrible display against Queretaro in the league. San Luis, so far, has managed good results in Liga MX play: drawing Tigres in week one and beating Cruz Azul in week two. A win on home turf would further fans’ expectations this season for the Potosinos.

Atletico San Luis v Cruz Azul - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
San Luis are still undefeated in league play after two games under new head coach Memo Vazquez.
Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas vs. Dorados de Sinaloa

Leg 1: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 28, 9:00 p.m.

Diego Maradona’s old team is now under the direction of former Pumas UNAM coach David Patiño. They’ll undertake a tough task when they try to beat a revamped and reinvigorated Chivas squad in Guadalajara. Most of Chivas’ star winter signings have not seen much playing time in league play, so the doors are open for Uriel Antuna, Jesús Angulo, Cristian Calderon and others to make their mark in the cup.

Pachuca v Chivas - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
Loan returnee Jose Juan Macias so far has been the only “new” Chivas player to start a game for Guadalajara in 2020. He started both league games against Juarez and Pachuca.
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Celaya vs. Monterrey

Leg 1: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 29, 9:00 p.m.

Los Toros are under the direction of Santos Laguna legend Hector “El Pity” Altamirano and will host the current Liga MX champs at the Estadio Miguel Alemán Valdés. Celaya actually only had one win (four points total) in the group stages but that was still enough for second place in Group F. Frankly, they have little to no chance against what is possibly the deepest roster in North America in Rayados.

Monterrey v Morelia - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
Rayados team depth is about to get bigger as they’re currently heavily linked with Argentina international Matias Kranevitter from Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg.
Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cafetaleros vs. Morelia

Leg 1: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 29, 7:00 p.m.

Cafetaleros, the team that rose from the ashes of Jaguares in Chiapas, boast several former Jaguares players including Christian “Hobbit” Bermúdez, Franco Arizala and Luis Gerardo Venegas. They host a Monarcas team on Wednesday that are just weeks removed from an epic postseason run in the Liga MX.

FBL-MEX-MONTERREY-MORELIA
Morelia look to win just its second Copa MX title, the first coming in the Clausura 2013 edition.
Photo by JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images

Santos Laguna vs. Pumas UNAM

Leg 1: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 29, 7:00 p.m.

Pumas added some key pieces to their roster over the offseason, resulting in four points over the first two matches in the league. Los Universitarios will travel to Torreón to face a talented Santos team which have yet to show their full potential in the new decade.

Pumas UNAM v Pachuca - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
Former Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Saucedo is one of the many new faces at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario this season.
Photo by Pedro Mera/Getty Images

Atlas vs. Toluca

Leg 1: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m.
Leg 2: Jan. 28, 7:00 p.m.

Toluca narrowly lost to Necaxa in Week 2, but even still, José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre is enjoying a good second spell with Los Diablos Rojos thus far. The team is playing with more energy and creativity and they’ll face a tough Atlas team in a matchup of skillful No. 10’s between Toluca’s Leo Fernandez and Atlas’ Luciano Acosta.

Toluca v Necaxa - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX
Leo Fernandez, on loan from Tigres UANL, is one of the more high-profile winter signings Liga MX welcomed this season.
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images