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Club America were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by Club Leon in the first leg of the Apertura 2023 playoff quarterfinals earlier this week
Club America are bidding for a record-extending 14th Liga MX title
Club Leon are eyeing a ninth league title with a rejuvenated side this year
Our Pick: Club America to win.
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Both clubs managed to find the back of the net, but neither could find a winner in the first leg at Estadio Leon on Wednesday. The second leg promises to be an exciting and tightly-fought encounter for a berth in the semifinals.
Club America have the edge going into the second leg, despite a draw in the away leg. The side looks like they can do no wrong this season. They are the best away team in the league and finished the league stage without a single loss on the road. Things look difficult for the home side, as they have been unable to keep a clean sheet in their last eight games.
The head-to-head between these old rivals is close, with Leon holding the edge over their next opponents with 11 wins to ten. Eight games between these two have ended in draws. The last three encounters between these two sides have all ended in draws.
The team that wins on Saturday will break this stalemate that dates back to April 2023. In the last five encounters, though, each team has managed to register one victory each at their respective home grounds.
Club America have had an incredible season in the league this Apertura season. They carried the amazing form into the quarterfinal first leg while hosting Leon, dominating the game and netting two goals.
The 13-time Liga MX champions finished 40 points clear at the top and lost just one game all season. They are also on a 16-game unbeaten streak as they travel to Leon on Saturday. Their incredible form has made America the favorite to lift a record 14th Liga MX title.
Andre Jardine has created a fantastic team this season with Club America, who have an excellent record while on the road. They are unbeaten in all their away games so far, which will give them an edge over Leon, who are the home side in the second leg.
America have played eight away games so far and won five while drawing the remaining two. They also managed to beat title-contenders Monterrey 0-3 in the league stage of the Apertura.
In the first leg, Club America forward Henry Martin bagged a brace against Leon. The 31-year-old will be key for Club America in the second leg. He has found the back of the net five times so far this season and bagged four assists, making him an important player.
Though Club America are not short on attacking options. Diego Valdes, Julian Quinones, and Jonathan Rodriguez have each added six goals to the club’s success this season. Quinones has also contributed heavily in the assists department with five assists, bringing his total goal contribution tally to 11.
Unlike their next opponents, Leon finished the Apertura league stage with average results. They finished 8th with 27 points, winning just six of their 17 games, drawing five and losing the remaining six.
They put up a great fight against Club America in the first leg, taking the lead in the 39th minute with a Nicolas Lopez strike, but ultimately, they relinquished the advantage early in the second half.
The defense will be key against the visitors for Club Leon, who cannot boast of a good defensive record this season. They have been unable to keep a clean sheet in their last eight games. This will be a worrisome stat for manager Nicolas Larcamon.
In 17 games in the league stage, they conceded 22 goals and scored 23. They also gave away their lead twice in the first leg, allowing Club America to come from behind on both occasions to end the game 2-2.
Club Leon have won 11 times against Club America, edging the head-to-head by 11-10. Their last victory against their next opponents came at the home ground, which will bolster their spirits for the second leg.
Managing to score two goals against a side that conceded only 14 goals in 17 league stage games away from home will provide another boost to their confidence despite the odds being against them. Nicolas Lopez bagged a goal, while Omar Andres Fernandez and Angel Mena bagged one assist each in the first leg and will be the key to breaking down Club America’s defense in the second leg.
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Teams: Club America vs. Club Leon
Location: Estadio Azteca
Time: Saturday, December 2 at 8:00 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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