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Atletico de San Luis pulled off one of the upsets of the season after eliminating Monterrey CF in the Apertura 2023 Liguilla quarterfinals
Club America were held to a draw on the road against Club Leon but won the second leg at home to book their Apertura 2023 Liguilla semifinal berth
When these two clubs last met, it was during the regular season, and Club America nabbed a 1-0 win in San Luis’ backyard
Our Pick: Scoring Draw.
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San Luis have extended their unbeaten run to three games and reached the semifinals of the Liga MX playoffs for the first time in history. Los Atléticos beat Monterrey CF 1-0 at home in the first leg before securing a 1-1 draw in the second leg and setting up a semifinal encounter against a mighty Club America side.
Club America’s unbeaten streak stands at 18 games after the 13-time Liga MX champions beat Champions League holders Club Leon 4-2 on aggregate. The first leg ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw, but the title favorites this season secured a convincing 2-0 win at home in the second leg to reach the Liguilla semifinals.
After getting the best result against the second seed of the playoffs in the quarterfinals, San Luis will be extremely positive ahead of their game with Club America. The side will also have a home advantage in the first leg and look to pull off another upset, but a draw is the most likely outcome.
The fixture is heavily dominated by Club America, who have won 13 out of the last 19 encounters against San Luis in all competitions. Three matches have ended in draws, leaving San Luis with only three wins.
Henry Martin scored the only goal of the match in the 32nd minute when these two clubs locked horns in the regular Apertura season this year. San Luis defeated Club America 2-1 in their own backyard in the Clausura 2023 playoffs.
However, that victory was irrelevant as Club America had won the first leg 3-1. That gave the 13-time league winners a 4-3 aggregate win in the quarterfinals. San Luis’ only home win over Club America came in the 2019 Copa MX when the hosts won 2-0.
After eliminating one of the top title contenders of the season, San Luis will aim to slay giants in back-to-back ties. It will not be easy for Los Atléticos, but the odds were also against them when they faced Monterrey.
The hosts will experience the pressure of being in the Liguilla semifinals for the first time in their history, and it is uncertain if they will crack under that pressure or let that energy fuel the fire and take the game to the visitors.
Gustavo Leal’s gamble at halftime against Monterrey paid off after the coach decided to replace Leo and Jurgen Damm with Vitinho and Jhon Murillo.
Four minutes after coming on, Vitinho scored his seventh goal of the season, and it turned out to be the decisive strike that propelled San Luis into the next round. Against Club America, the Brazilian could get his first start in the playoffs.
San Luis center-back Unai Bilbao put in another solid performance at the back as he kept Monterrey attackers at bay.
The Spaniard won all aerial duels, made 11 clearances, and two crucial blocks to keep his side in the game. A similar performance against Club America will be extremely helpful for San Luis.
Club America have won the most titles in Liga MX history and are aiming for a record-extending 14th league title this Apertura season. The side has been strong for several seasons but has faltered at the eleventh hour and lost.
In the Clausura 2023 playoffs, Club America were favorites to win but were eliminated in the semifinals by Chivas Guadalajara. This time, they are up against San Luis, but they cannot underestimate the side as they have shown their potential in the previous round.
The dynamic attacking duo of Club America – Julian Quinones and Henry Martin – got their names on the scoresheet against Leon in the second leg.
The new signing and the veteran striker are in prolific form. Quinones’ panenka from the spot and Martin’s perfect against Leon finish exuded confidence and sent a warning message to their next opponents.
The performance of Igor Lichnovsky in both legs against Leon was quite subpar compared to his teammates.
The Chilean full-back only faced one ground duel, which he lost. The 29-year-old did not contribute much in attack as he made just one pass into the final third in the entire game.
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Teams: Atletico de San Luis vs. Club America
Location: Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramirez
Time: Wednesday, December 6 at 10:00 pm ET
How to Watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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