29
May

Racing fans order players to lose so rival team can suffer relegation

image

What’s the biggest soccer rivalry in the world? The Manchester Derby? Liverpool and Everton? Inter vs. Milan? Roma and Lazio? Hands up those who said Racing Club and Independiente over in Argentina.

Fans of Racing Club issued this flyer ahead of their match against relegation-threatened Quilmes, which reads: “Players! Lose or rot in hell!”

This obviously begs the question, why would they so vehemently ask that of their players? Well, Racing’s main rival, Independiente, are also battling relegation, and there is just a tad bit of history between the three clubs:

Back in 1983, Independiente played Quilmes with the roles reversed and Racing Club facing the drop. Independiente are still widely believed to have accepted defeat top Quilmes to help send their bitter rivals down.

Well, now the boots on the other foot. Will Racing’s players satisfy their fans’ thirst for revenge?

23
May

Liga MX Liguilla: Cruz Azul take 1-0 lead over Club America

image

Photo: Getty Images

By Kyle McCarthy

Cruz Azul claimed a 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Club América in the first leg of the Liguilla final on Thursday night, but the modest margin between the teams leaves both sides with a chance to lift the trophy.

Both sides failed to hit their best in a bland affair hindered by the rainy and slippery conditions at Estadio Azul and tempered by the looming second leg at Estadio Azteca on Sunday night.

América manager Miguel Herrera played his part in removing some of the excitement by naming a conservative side (the usual 5-3-2 setup with the now customary pair of holding midfielders) and telling his players to keep the match as narrow as possible inside their own half. The approach worked for the most part with in-form winger Pablo Barrera only a fleeting influence on the proceedings.

Read More

4
May

Liga MX Clausura 2013, Jornada 17: Five Things to Watch

image

By Kyle McCarthy

1. Forget about final day drama: it’s all about final weekend drama in Liga MX: All of the key matches are spread out over two days to maximize viewing pleasure. If the events break in a certain way (more on that potential sequence of events in a moment), the final game of the Clausura (Pumas’ visit to Atlante on Sunday night) could determine the composition of the Liguilla field. Moral of the story: clear off the calendar on Saturday and Sunday to keep careful track of the events as they unfold.

2. Two teams, one regular-season title at stake at the Azteca: Club América hosts Tigres in a virtual playoff for top spot in the Liguilla on Saturday night. The two combatants – plus surprise package Atlas – enter the weekend tied on 32 points. If either side emerges victorious from this tense affair, then it will secure the first seed due to its vastly superior goal difference (America: +17, Tigres: +14, Atlas: +8). If the match ends in a draw, then Atlas can vault both of them with a home victory over Club León.

One other point to monitor in this match: Ecuadorian striker Christian Benítez (12 goals) could win his third consecutive scoring title (a first since Mexico switched to the split-season format in 1996) if he maintains his two-goal edge over Morelia’s Héctor Mancilla (10 goals) through the weekend.

Read More