Tonight, Club América and Cruz Azul will face off in Estadio Azteca for another edition of the Clásico Joven. Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti and Cruz Azul hope a win tonight will help build momentum as they look to close out the season on a high note with a spot in the repechaje. On the other side there is Fernando ‘Tano’ Ortiz and Club America, who also want a win tonight in order to remain in the top four.
The last time these two teams met was in week 10 of the Apertura 2022 where Cruz Azul faced a crushing 7-0 defeat. They were able to make it all the way to the quarterfinals before they ultimately fell to Monterrey 0-3 on aggregate. This season has not been smooth sailing, as it wasn’t until the sixth game of the season that they recorded their first win. That win was not under manager Raúl ‘Potro’ Gutiérrez, but instead it was interim manager Joaquin Moreno who led the team to victory after Gutiérrez was sacked due to poor results. Ferretti was then chosen to take over the team during week nine. Since Potro’s firing, Cruz Azul have gone on to win six games, draw two, and lose just one. It seems the team was due for a change and it paid off.
While Club América didn’t have a terrible start to the season, they did once again start slow. They had three consecutive draws, one of them against Querétaro, and it wasn’t until week four where they got their first win. Since then, they’ve once again managed to place in the top four and if they remain there, that means a place directly into the liguilla. América are also the highest scoring offense with 31 goals so far. In tonight’s game, the visitors will be without their head coach Ortiz as he finishes up his two-game suspension. Thankfully though, they won’t be without Alejandro Zendejas after news broke about the injury to his nose.
| Alejandro Zendejas suffered a fracture to his nose in last nights game. He will continue to play the rest of the season with protective gear and will undergo surgery after the season is over and will be out 4-6 weeks#AguilasEng https://t.co/irdJlVXYKK— The Eagle Eye Podcast (@EagleEyePodcast) April 10, 2023
During the game against Monterrey, Zendejas took an elbow to the face and went down with a bloody nose. The medical team eventually stopped the bleeding and Zendejas continued on the field. Upon further evaluation, it turned out Zendejas suffered a fracture to his nose and will have surgery after the season is over. While the player was out for weeks earlier in the season, he brings a lot to the team and having him out again for the final stretch and the liguilla would have been a big blow. Leo Suárez may have done a great job in Zendejas’s absence, but there is no replacing Zendejas and the team is lucky to still have him, seeing as they hope to once again defeat Cruz Azul tonight.