Liga MX fans need to clear their Thursday and Sunday nights, with the Mexican league announcing Monday that the semi-finals will be doubleheaders.
That's a change from previous years, which have seen one series take place Wednesday-Saturday and the second Thursday-Sunday. It's also a surprise as Club America, which hosts the second leg in its series against Santos Laguna, typically plays its home matches Saturday. Santos may have protested a match taking place Wednesday after securing its spot in the semi-finals late Sunday night with a 2-0 victory over Tigres.
The other series, between No.1 seed Toluca and No.6 Tijuana, was expected to take place Thursday-Sunday with Toluca playing its home matches at noon Mexico City time (1 p.m. ET) on Sundays. That's the time slot it will have for the second leg, with the first leg taking place at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday at the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana.
America and Santos kick off before that at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday at the Estadio Corona before the deciding leg at the Estadio Azteca, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday.
No matter which teams emerge from the semi-finals, there will be two new finalists in Liga MX this tournament. Reigning champion Tigres were eliminated by Santos on Sunday while Tijuana got past last tournament's runner-up, Monterrey, in their quarter-final. That sets up a rematch of the 2012 Apertura final, which also saw the first leg take place in Estadio Caliente with the second leg at Estadio Nemasio Diez.
Both America and Santos have won titles since then with Las Aguilas taking the 2014 Apertura crown and Santos winning the next tournament, the 2015 Clausura. America was the three seed last tournament but fell out of the post-season after failing to score in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals. Finding goals against Pumas in this tournament's quarter-finals wasn't an issue as it dispatched its Mexico City rivals 6-2 on aggregate.
🚨Es OFICIAL 😲😲😲— LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) May 7, 2018
En tu #AgendaFutbolística 📅⚽ reserva el jueves y domingo, porque esos días se van a jugar los duelos de IDA y VUELTA de la #Semifinal del #Clausura2018 de la #LIGABancomerMX
⚽ #SienteTuLiga ⚽ #LimpiemosNuestroMéxico pic.twitter.com/hqafPBumeL
A title win for America would be a record-setting 13th crown, while Toluca is out for its 11th crown, Santos its sixth and Tijuana its second.