Matchday 6: Yawn … another Tigres-América match

Aguilas winger Renato Ibarra splits two Tigres defenders during their Leagues Cup semifinal match in Houston on Aug. 20. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Aguilas winger Renato Ibarra splits two Tigres defenders during their Leagues Cup semifinal match in Houston on Aug. 20. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

América visits Estadio Universitario aiming to avenge their elimination from the Leagues Cup at the hands of the Tigres.

This weekend offers a renewal of the “Classic/Not a Classic” rivalry that has been entertaining Liga MX fans for the past 10 seasons. Since the Apertura 2014, the Tigres and América have met in two Liga MX finals, one Concacaf Champions League final and one league Champions Cup.

The Tigres are the defending champs, while América won the Liga MX title a season earlier.

The two clubs are consensus title favorites again this season and Saturday night’s clash will be the third meeting since July 7 when the Aguilas defeated the Tigres in a penalty shoot-out to hoist the 2019 league Champions Cup.

The Tigres retaliated on Tuesday in Houston, winning a penalty kick shoot-out to knock the Aguilas out of the inaugural Leagues Cup at the semifinal stage. Though neither team used all their starters at the outset, América, especially, was short-handed. Even so, the Aguilas were in a position to win until an own goal just before the final whistle forced a shoot-out.

Tigres America Week 6
Bruno Valdez heads a Tigres throw-in that would end up in his own net just before the final whistle. The own goal led to a penalty shoot-out. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

América coach Miguel Herrera used a makeshift line-up on account of injuries, preferring to allow a couple key starters – midfielders Gio dos Santos and Nicolás Benedetti – to stay home in hopes of being fully fit for the upcoming league match.

The Aguilas adjusted their back line due to the injury absence of central defender Emanuel Aguilera. Paul Aguilar played out of position, sliding from right back to central defense, and midfielder Antonio López was inserted at left back. Both were exposed on the Tigres’ first goal, just 14 minutes into the match.

López was beaten badly on an overlapping run by Juergen Damm (who owned López until he was subbed out in minute 41), then Aguilar knocked the resulting cross into his own net.

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América settled down after that and striker Roger Martínez and winger Andrés Ibarguen began to dribble circles around the Tigres defense. Before the first half was over, Martínez had earned a penalty kick and Ibarguen converted it, his first of two goals on the night.

The Tigres did not play a very good game despite sustaining more than 70% possession. Playing his first game back after breaking his nose a month ago, winger Javier Aquino was very ineffective. Jesús Dueñas looked ill-suited to playing midfield in place of Rafa Carioca who replaced him to start the second half. And Damm wasted several marvelous chances before he was subbed out for Luis Quiñónes, who had considerable success late in the match.

On Saturday, we can expect to see the Tigres try to control possession and slow the tempo of the match, while América will be poised to hit on the counter, especially through Renato Ibarra and Ibarguen. The Aguilas should be able to sustain more possession with the inclusion of Dos Santos and Benedetti and we might get to see the debut of Memo Ochoa in goal.

All in all, the best game of the weekend will be in “El Volcán.”

Fantastic undercard

Any other week, Friday’s Santos-Monterrey contest would get considerable ink, while Saturday’s Querétaro-León matinée should be extremely entertaining.

Monterrey arrives with a three-game win streak after losing its first two, while Santos suffered its first setback last week following a 4-0-0 start. This should be a titanic tilt as both teams boast offensive firepower and stout defenses.

Tigres America Week 6
Monterrey’s Rodolfo Pizarro can expect plenty of attention from the Santos defense Friday night. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The Rayados have had some injury issues and are just rounding into form, while Santos opened the Apertura in explosive form.

In Querétaro, the league-leading Gallos Blancos host last season’s best regular-season team, León. Querétaro is one of the league’s two undefeated teams and coach Víctor Manuel Vucetich has them playing an attractive, flowing style. They rose to #1 in our Power Rankings this weel

León is in 10th place, but they’ve already had their bye. The Esmeraldas exploded for four goals last week, but their defense has been inconsistent. The return of right back Fernando Navarro should help them tighten up that side of the ball.

Below is this weekend’s schedule. In parentheses are the team’s point total, its goal differential and its spot in the standings.

Matchday 6


Atlético San Luis (4 points, -4, 14th) at Veracruz (1 point, -10, 19th)

Pumas (9 points, +4, 5th) at Morelia (3 points, -4, 15th)

Monterrey (9 points, +1, 6th) at Santos Laguna (12 points, +7, 3rd)


León (7 points, +2, 10th) at Querétaro (13 points, +8, 1st)

Tigres America Week 6
Querétaro hosts León in one of the weekend’s most attractive matches. (Photo by Cesar Reyna/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Atlas (9 points, 0, 7th) at Pachuca (4 points, 0, 13th)

Puebla (1 point, -9, 18th) at Cruz Azul (8 points, +1, 8th)

América (13 points, +6, 2nd)

at Tigres (10 points, +3, 4th)


Tijuana (7 points, +1, 12th) at Toluca (1 point, -7, 17th)

Necaxa (7 points, +6, 9th) at Guadalajara (7 points, +1, 11th)

Bye: Juárez

Matchday 5 Results

(Home team listed first)

Puebla 0, Pachuca 4

Atlas 1, Cruz Azul 3

Atlético San Luis 1, Tigres 1

León 4, Guadalajara 3

América 1, Morelia 0

Monterrey 2, Toluca 0

Pumas 2, Veracruz 0

Necaxa 3, Santos Laguna 0

Juárez 0, Querétaro 2

Bye: Tijuana