MEXICO CITY – With a two-goal lead, Club América attempts to finish off the task of defending the Concacaf Champions League title — and earn the ticket to the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan — when they host the UANL Tigres, who will need to pull off a nearly perfect match against América in this final round.
The grass of Estadio Azteca will be the site where these teams define who is the best in the region, when the hands of the clock strike 8:45 p.m.
The reigning champions made a slightly showy duel in the first 90 minutes, but very effectively controlled their rival, restricting Tigres’ goals to zero, while they scored two of their own that seem to have given imminent path to the series.
However, the pupils of Ignacio Ambriz, manager of América, cannot afford to succumb to overconfidence, as it is to the advantage of a team in their situation to enter the match as if the score truly was 0-0.
It is not unheard of to overcome a two-goal deficit, as a decade ago, the team from Monterrey eliminated América in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Apertura, after arriving with a two-goal disadvantage.
Meanwhile, the Tigres need to show improvements in all aspects, if they truly aspire to achieve an upset in what would be their first title in this tournament.
The Tigres suffer playing away from their home stadium, and under significant pressure — as evident in the finals of the 2014 Torneo Apertura, in which they lost to América, and the 2015 Copa Libertadores against River Plate, and their lead in the 2015 Apertura nearly overcome by the UNAM Pumas.
For entry into the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup and a ticket to Japan, Club América, at home in Mexico City, only require a tie, and can even take a 1-0 defeat; while the UANL Tigres are required to win 3-0, or 3-1 or 4-2 and so on, as a goal by the visiting team is more weighted to break a tie.
(Translated by JMR)