Two high-profile matchups will determine which Mexican clubs advance to the 2013 Clausura championship.
On Wednesday, Monterrey will host America in the Estadio Tecnologico (10 p.m. ET), with the return leg on Saturday in the Estadio Azteca (6 p.m.). The matchup is a repeat of the Clausura 2012 semifinal, when Monterrey held America to a 0-0 tie in the Azteca and managed a 2-0 victory at home thanks to goals from Jose Maria Basanta and Aldo de Nigris.
“Monterrey is not easy, it’s a very difficult team,” stated America coach Miguel Herrera after Saturday’s game against Pumas. “It eliminated the best team in the tournament (Tigres), and we will be focused for it.”
One plus for America is that Monterrey confirmed goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco will miss the first leg, while Diego Reyes could return from injury.
On the other side of the draw, Cruz Azul – searching for its first title since 1997 – face battle-hardened playoff experts Santos Laguna. The first leg is on Thursday (10 p.m.) in the Estadio Corona, with the return in the Estadio Azul on Sunday (9 p.m.).
Mariano Pavone is a doubt for Cruz Azul after picking up an injury in Sunday’s game against Morelia, while Santos Laguna may be without Oribe Peralta once again.