América, Cruz Azul in control as Liguilla semifinal second legs beckon


By: Kyle McCarthy

Mexico will once again turn its attention toward the capital as the Liguilla semifinals conclude over the weekend.

If everything unfolds according to plan, then the attention will remain there through the conclusion of the final next weekend. Club América (2-2 at Monterrey on Wednesday) and Cruz Azul (3-0 at Santos Laguna on Thursday) submitted assured displays away from home to place themselves into position to progress with similar performances in the second leg.

América faces the trickier of the two challenges with Monterrey still in the tie after the stalemate at Estadio Tecnológico. It isn’t beyond Victor Manuel Vucetich’s side to engineer the required victory (or a draw of 3-3 or greater, though that result hardly seems likely) in this decisive affair, nor is it out of the realm of possibility for América to buckle under the weight of the heavy expectations.

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Sky Sports Germany felt so confident that Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund would march on to the Champions League final that it came out with this outrageous advertisement mocking its Spanish opponents ahead of the semifinal second legs.

The ad opens in a Spanish bull-fighting arena with a matador screaming in agony. We then see the matador, fat, disheveled and defeated, with a Bayern and a Dortmund flag sticking out of his rear end. The words then appear on the screen: “Adios Amigos! The road to Wembley” (translated)

Cheeky? Arrogant? Maybe, but who can blame Sky after the two Bundesliga squads outscored Spain’s Barcelona and Real Madrid by a combined score of 8-1 in the first legs.

The ad hasn’t jinxed the German teams yet, but it certainly came close. Borussia Dortmund held off a spirited Madrid rally on Tuesday, losing 0-2 but squeaking by on aggregate, 4-3.