Wednesday’s Copa MX schedule features a Champions Showdown and a must-win game for defenders Cruz Azul.
Matchday 3 of the Copa MX brings a Clash of Champions as Liga MX title-holder America hosts Atlético San Luis, the winner of the Ascenco MX crown in December (photo at top). In addition, Copa holders Cruz Azul travel to Oaxaca in a must-win game for the Cementeros.
América wants to hoist the Copa MX trophy this season and they enter the game vs the Tuneros on a 22-game unbeaten streak. Coach Miguel Herrera will utilize some academy players to rest his regulars (including striker Henry Martín who has scored in all 3 games the Aguilas have played this season).
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The Aguilas kiddie corps is eager to follow in the footsteps of Diego Lainez, the 18-year-old who made a big splash last season and now plays in Spain for Real Betis. Waiting for their opportunity tonight are defender Haret Ortega (18), midfielder Sebastián Córdova (21) and winger José Hernández (19). Hernández started against Pachuca in Saturday’s league match and also played against Necaxa last week in the Copa MX opener for the Aguilas.
San Luis is sitting in fourth place in Ascenso MX after three weeks, off to a 1-2-0 start. The Tuneros also lost their Copa MX opener against Necaxa so coach Alfonso Sosa will be eager for a good result.
In Oaxaca, defending Copa MX champs Cruz Azul will face the Alebrijes who are in first place in Group E. Oaxaca defeated León on Matchday 1 and León then beat Cruz Azul on Matchday 2. So if the Cementeros continue their winning streak, there will be a 3-way tie in Group E.
Cruz Azul takes to the road after earning a tough road win against the Tigres, their first victory at the Estadio Universitario since November 2008. To come home with the three points, coach Pedro Caixinha will hope that goalie Guillermo Allison has a better game than he did against León. Cruz Azul will likely start its first-team back line with a few back-ups upfield.
The Cementeros are still waiting for their high-priced acquisitions to make a difference on offense. New striker Jonathan Rodríguez scored twice against León in the Copa MX, but has yet to score in the league. Meanwhile, midfielder Orbeliín Pineda has struggled to make a difference with the Cementeros. Caixinha will no doubt mix-and-match a bit with upcoming league matches in mind.
Elsewhere on Wednesday’s Copa MX schedule: Zacatepec hosts Querétaro, Morelia welcomes the Correcaminos UAT and in a match pitting two Liga MX clubs against each other, Tijuana visits Pachuca. This last game will feature the debut of new Tuzos coach Martín Palermo who replaces Pako Ayestarán who was fired after the team suffered its second rout of the young Liga MX season.
In Tuesday’s Copa MX results, second division club Juárez overturned a 1-0 deficit at Puebla to win 2-1; second division club Leones Negros defeated crosstown rival Atlas 2-1 in a Guadalajara derby and the Cafetaleros de Tapachula defeated fellow second-division side Cimarrones de Sonora 1-0. In a first-division clash, Veracruz blanked visiting Lobos BUAP 2-0.