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Club America to win
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This could finally be the weekend Club America have been waiting for because they go up against a side that only won three games during the Apertura season. It looks certain that three weeks of frustration will finally come to an end with the season’s first win for Club America.
On opening day, Club America were held to a 0-0 draw before a couple of 2-2 draws against rivals Deportivo Toluca Toluca and then against Puebla FC. It has been the most peculiar start for the 13-time champions.
On the other hand, Mazatlan FC’s last win in Liga MX came in September 2022 against Atlas FC.After that, including the preseason, Mazatlan FC have not won a single game in ten matches. Club America are favorites to extend that unfortunate run.
When the two sides met in the Apertura league phase, a Diego Valdes own goal gave Mazatlan FC a surprise lead after just 11 minutes. Valdes redeemed himself ten minutes from the break when he restored parity. Henry Martin scored at the stroke of halftime to turn the game around.
Four minutes into the second half, Sebastian Caceres made it 3-1 before Carlos Vargas was sent off two minutes before the hour mark. There was no way back for Mazatlan FC as they added another defeat to their tally.
Mazatlan FC’s solitary victory against Club America came in the corresponding fixture last year. Yet again, Mazatlan FC were up 1-0 after 11 minutes. But this time, they built on the advantage and doubled it in the 33rd minute. Juan Otero scored in the 93rd minute, but it was not enough.
Club America would be itching to add another title to their tally of 13, but it will not be an easy task. The side have already experienced three examples proving why it will not be a cakewalk for any side to lift the coveted trophy.
The clash against Mazatlan FC is a glorious chance for some respite before Club America’s tricky encounter with Santos Laguna. Despite being labeled as the underdogs of Liga MX, Club America will not take the Mazatlan FC threat lightly, especially after recent results.
Manager Fernando Ortiz has already guided Club America to the top of the table once, during the Apertura league phase and he is capable of taking this side back to the summit this season and maybe even go all the way.
At the end of the Apertura league phase, Club America played eight games at home, won six of those and only two ended in draws. In the playoffs, they won once at home before drawing against Toluca in the semi-final and getting knocked out.
After defeating Puebla FC in the Apertura playoff quarter-finals, Club America have not won a single game at home in Liga MX. The club has already matched their draw tally at home last season after just three games this season.
The two draws at home last season were the only two draws that Club America was a part of during the Apertura season. That means the club has already surpassed the number of draws they had last season.
This season, Club America’s left flank has looked a tad weak. Luis Fuentes operated as the left back in the opening two games of the season but after an unimpressive performance, Salvador Reyes was deployed down the left. However, even the 24-year-old failed to be an upgrade.
Further up the flank, Brian Rodriguez has also been ineffective in two out of the last three games. He managed to get on the scoresheet against Deportivo Toluca but apart from that, including the other two games, Rodriguez did not cause any significant damage.
Club America have the better head-to-head record in this fixture, but it is a fact that Mazatlan FC have beaten them last year. Anything is possible but for a miraculous outcome, Mazatlan FC will have to give it their all.
Steering clear of the bottom will be the primary aim of the club that finished 14th in the Apertura season. They were just two points away from the final playoff spot. In a tightly contested Clausura season, Mazatlan FC could try their luck and go for glory against Club America.
If Manager Gabriel Caballero detects Club America’s frailty down the left, he could exploit that to frustrate Club America further by giving them a result that is not desirable. In this fixture and at this juncture, even a point would be extremely valuable for Mazatlan FC.
Mazatlan FC’s first-choice goalkeeper Nicolas Vikonis suffered a hamstring injury and is doubtful ahead of the game against Club America. The Uruguayan has not featured this season at all. In his place, Daniel Gutierrez has stepped in.
The 25-year-old Mexican has done quite well in goal in the past two games. Mazatlan FC conceded two goals in both games but it could have been more if Gutierrez had not made some crucial saves.
The second-choice keeper produced eight saves against Atlas FC and ten saves against Santos Laguna. The leaky defense of Mazatlan FC allowed opposition players to have a go at goal, but Gutierrez was alert to deny them.
Nicolas Bendetti scored three goals and assisted two during the Apertura 2022 season for Mazatlan FC. In the Clausura season, he is starting where he left off after scoring and assisting after the first couple of games.
The Colombian midfielder scored Mazatlan’s only goal in the opening game against Atlas FC and then set up his side’s only goal against Santos Laguna in the second match. The former Club America midfielder would love to add another contribution to his tally against his ex-employers.
However, Bendetti will need support from his teammates. Edgar Barcenas is yet to get off the mark this season, while 35-year-old Ariel Nahuelpan has made his mark with a goal.
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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