America got a place in the final four after a disappointing scoreless draw with Cruz Azul in another lackluster Clasico. America came back from a incredibly poor season that ended with Coach Santiago Solari getting fired and then under Interim Coach Fernando Ortiz, climbed all the way to fourth place and skipping the repechaje. Cruz Azul qualified to the Liguilla but will have to play in the Repechaje and will need to wait for results from Sunday’s matches to see which rival they will face, and if they get to host that match.
The first half started that with the news that even though Jesus Corona had come back from injury, he didn’t start in goal. Sebastian Jurado took the starting goalkeeper duties, while Corona to skipped the match to prepare for the post season. Meanwhile America gave the start to Pedro Aquino for the first time since his long injury. The game was very even and in typical clasico, with both teams being overly cautious. Cruz Azul had a great chance after Angel Romero won the ball but after making a pass to Ivan Morales, he ended up wasting it with a terrible shot that went wide. Later on Morales got into a scuffle with Richard Sanchez that earned a yellow card to both of them. Sanchez then got off a great left footed shot from outside the area, but the ball went just wide. There was a bad clash of heads between Juan Escobar and Luis Fuentes. The halftime whistle blew ending a terribly boring first half.
The second half started with both teams hoping to improve. A shot from Adrian Aldrete came close but got a free kick but his shot was saved by Jurado. Off a corner kick, Pedro Aquino rose to get a header that hit the post and then bounced on the line before Jurado cleared the ball. America then subbed out Alvaro Fidalgo and Alejandro Zendejas for Salvador Reyes and Juan Otero, while Cruz Azul subbed out Angel Romero and Juan Escobar for Christian Tabo and Rafael Baca. America countered by subbing out Federico Viñas and Pedro Aquino for Henry Martin and Jonathan Dos Santos. Cruz Azul had a great chance when Uriel Antuna got the ball after Cruz Azul won a ball, but his lob wasn’t quite over America’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and he was able to block it. Pablo Aguilar looked to have injured himself and although he tried to stay in, he would have to be subbed for Alejandro Mayorga. Cruz Azul also subbed out Uriel Antuna for Rodrigo Huescas. America meanwhile subbed out Diego Valdes for Miguel Layun, in a defensive substitution that looked like America was going to go for the tie. Ignacio Rivero took a great free kick that forced Ochoa to make a save. On the ensuing corner kick, Tabo made a great volley that came very close to scoring but went just wide. Then off of a free kick, Layun made a good cross that Bruno Valdez got to and headed it past Jurado, but it hit the post and stayed out. It was the last and the game finished 0-0.
The Clasico Joven match closed out what was a terrible season for Clasicos. All of America’s Clasico matches ended with a scoreless ties; against Pumas, Chivas, and now Cruz Azul. The only Clasico match that ended with a team winning was the Tigres-Monterrey Clasico Regio that finished with a 2-0 win for Tigres and with a great goal from Florian Thauvin. The other clasico between Chivas and Atlas ended with a 1-1, tie which means that there were more Clasico games played (5) than goals scored in those matches (4). The matches all left a lot to be desired, even the Clasico Regio. With all those teams besides Pumas (who can qualify with a win on Sunday against Pachuca) qualifying to the Liguilla, there is a big possibility we will have a series where they play a clasico and “save” it but right now it’s a total disappointment for Liga MX fans. America fans must be really high on the team finishing strong and getting to the Liguilla, while Cruz Azul fans will be in the opposite corner with the team not playing well and failing to get results. Both teams though will wait for their rivals, but it seems America is the one with better prospects although they will be far from the favorites to take the title.