Liga MX ‘Super Clásico’ tops Matchday 11 slate

"Chicote" Calderon (right) scored three times against América in the playoffs to lead the Chivas past the Aguilas. Media/Getty Images)
"Chicote" Calderon (right) scored three times against América in the playoffs to lead the Chivas past the Aguilas. Media/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Super Clasico
Sebastián Córdova (right) watches as his shot heads toward the net during América’s 4-1 win over the Chivas on Sept. 28, 2019. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

América poised to begin Liga MX playoff charge

Although the Aguilas are not playing with the firepower and flair its fans demand, “Los AzulCremas” would be in first place if not for a clerical error.

You read that right. América was forced to forfeit a game it won after Liga MX officials determined the team had submitted an incomplete line-up sheet and thus was guilty of “using an ineligible player” (even though the player in question did not actually get into the game).

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So instead of an 8-1-1 record and 25 points, the Aguilas are 7-1-2 with 22 points, 2 behind crosstown rivals Cruz Azul.

Solari has taken command of the clubhouse, demanding accountability and dedication, while switching from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1. Henry Martín (4 goals) has thrived as a single striker in front of Sebastián Córdova, Leo Suárez and Lainez, with Roger Martínez and Federico Viñas also contributing.

Córdova is a concern heading into the “Super Clásico,” however, as he is experiencing fatigue after logging 238 minutes (out of 270) during the recent “doble jornada” which saw América play 3 games in 8 days. The midfielder has had great success against Guadalajara since breaking into the starting line-up two years ago. He will be a game-time decision.

The Aguilas have allowed only 5 goals in 9 games (not counting the enforced 3-0 forfeit against Atlas) and will be getting stronger down the stretch run as stud defender Bruno Valdéz is set to return from August knee surgery.

The “Super Clásico” sets up to be a clash of styles, pitting the Chivas and their No. 3 Liga MX offense (15 goals) against the sturdy Aguilas defense.

Coach Vucetich will be hoping his attack tandem of J.J. Macías and Alexis Vega will get on the scoresheet, something neither has done while wearing a Chivas uniform.

The young forwards have each scored against América (Macías while on loan to León in February 2019 and Vega while with Toluca in December 2018). Since teaming up with the Chivas, neither has found the net in a “Super Clásico.”

Incidentally, the Chivas have not beaten América at home in a regular-season match since Feb. 19, 2017.

There is additional urgency for Guadalajara since the Liga MX calendar does not get any easier. Up next for the Chivas are Monterrey (third place), Santos (fifth place) and Cruz Azul (first place).