America host Pachuca tonight (5:00 PM PT/7:00 PM CT/8:00 PM ET) at the Azteca as they continue to make a push for a liguilla spot. Last time these two met was in the first round of the liguilla during the Clausura 2022. Can Pachuca once again upset America or will the hosts get another step closer to the playoffs?
Both teams come into the matchup tonight after having won both of their previous matches and are looking for a win that will help them get into the playoffs as the regular season approaches its end. Pachuca faced Atlas at home and there was just no hope for Atlas all night as they were trampled 4-0. Spanish international Jenni Hermoso scored her first goal in the league on a penalty to help put the team up by two in the first half. America on the other hand, faced Atletico San Luis and beat them 1-3 on the road after a loss the previous week where Andrea Falcon, Hermoso’s ex-teammate, also scored her first league goal. No doubt it was an exotic night for both players.
Even if America were to win tonight, they would not secure a spot in the liguilla. That’s because they needed both Cruz Azul and Pumas lose both of their respective games. Cruz Azul played yesterday and drew 1-1 against Tijuana, while Pumas will play second place Monterrey right after America finishes their match. That means the Azulcremas will possibly have to wait until the Clasico Nacional against Guadalajara to secure a playoff spot, but that’s a situation that’ll be rather difficult considering Guadalajara has already secured their own playoff spot and are currently first in the league, not giving up first place once all season long. Of course there are other scenarios in which America can clinch a playoff berth, but those would have done it for tonight. Pachuca on the other hand, are still a heavy favorite to clinch a spot in the liguilla, but they’ll most likely have to wait another week at least to find out.
Tonight will definitely be about offensive power. Pachuca have players like Jenni Hermoso, Monica Ocampo, and Charlyn Corral who can playmake and score goals. America have players like Kiana Palacios, Alison Gonzalez, and Scarlett Camberos who are an important part of the offense. That’s just a short list of players on both teams that can easily create havoc on each other. In fact, both teams have players who are fighting for the golden boot this season. Charlyn Corral and Kiana Palacios are in a three-way tie for second place. They each have 11 goals and are also tied with Christina Burkenroad from Monterrey. These three are only one goal behind Mia Fishel who leads with 12 goals. This season’s golden boot will come down to the last game and can easily go to any of these players.
Neither America or Pachuca can make a mistake considering how powerful their offense are. That’s been one of the challenges that has plagued America. Their defense has let goals slip in when they shouldn’t have. Neither defense have margin for error tonight considering both have a liguilla spot on the line.