America and Cruz Azul clash tonight (7:05 PM PT/9:05 PM CT/10:05 PM ET) at Estadio Azteca in another edition of the Clasico Joven. Cruz Azul have a mighty task ahead as they look to get their first win after three straight losses. On the other side, America enter tonight’s match on a three-game win streak.
In their last three games, Cruz Azul have conceded nine goals while only scoring three. Four of those goals conceded came against Santos Laguna who scored three goals in under 10 minutes. That game was the worst performance Cruz Azul have had so far this season. Last week. they lost to Tijuana 2 - 1 at home. Cruz Azul opened the scoring in the 21st minute, but Tijuana equalized after Ramiro Funes Mori failed to clear the ball correctly and instead saw it roll inside his own net. An unfortunate situation for both player and team. Cruz Azul continued to look for another goal but it was Tijuana who capitalized on another defensive error to take the lead and the win.
America visited a strong Pachuca side who had yet to lose at home. The Aguilas were up for the test and downed the Tuzos 3 - 0. Alejandro Zendejas opened the scoring in the first half, while Jonathan Rodriguez scoring increased the lead in thesecond half. That makes five goals for Martin this season, who is making a statement as to why he should be in the starting lineup in Qatar. Pachuca had no answers and could not find a single goal, due to not capitalizing on their opportunities or Guillermo Ochoa coming up with an incredible save.
Last season, the Clasico Joven ended in a lackluster 0 - 0 draw. Both teams had their chances but neither were able to convert. With that result, America made it into the final four while Cruz Azul made it into the Repechaje. This time around, the stakes aren’t as high but still important. Cruz Azul need a win to not only get out of the bottom of the table (they currently sit in 17th place), but a win would turn things around for a side that is currently struggling to get any kind of momentum going. A win for America, who currently sit in fifth place, will put them into the top four with the season just over halfway through. After a rough start to the season, fourth place is a great spot for a team that always has high expectations and is now starting to live up to them.