Matchday 2: Necaxa visits Puebla followed by Tuneros-Pumas clash

Aguilas returns to Estadio Azteca as Liga MX champs have trouble leaving their nest
Necaxa has not lost at Estadio Cuauhtémoc since April 2022 and the Rayos are determined to avoid another season in the Liga MX cellar.
Necaxa has not lost at Estadio Cuauhtémoc since April 2022 and the Rayos are determined to avoid another season in the Liga MX cellar. / Manuel Velasquez/GettyImages

The second weekend of the new Liga MX season kicks off tonight with a triple-header though the best game of Matchday 2 is set for Sunday evening. 

There will only be eight games this weekend because Pachuca scheduled a friendly against River Plate that will be played in Fresco, Texas, on Saturday, forcing the postponement of their contest against León.

Holders América will also host its season opener in Estadio Azteca, one of the final games to be staged at the Coloso de Santa Úrsula before it undergoes a major facelift ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

Necaxa visits Puebla to raise the curtain on the weekend’s eight games with the Rayos still aglow from their miracle comeback victory over Atlas last Sunday. “Los Electricistas” are eager to show they are a changed team from the club that finishes bottom of the Liga MX table last season.

Pair of ‘Final Four’ squads square off

Also Friday, UNAM travels to San Luis Potosí in a match that pits two semifinalists who’d like to show that last season was not a fluke. This is the only Matchday 2 game that features two 1-0-0 clubs facing each other.

Atleti de San Luis stunned heavily favored Monterrey in the quarterfinals before being knocked by eventual Liga MX champs, América, and Gustavo Leal and Co want to build on their surprise success. The Tuneros were 1-0 winners last week.

The Pumas overachieved during the Apertura 2023, finishing fourth then dispatching the Chivas before falling to Tigres in the semifinals. “Los universitarios” edged FC Juárez last Sunday.

At the same time, FC Juárez welcomes Cruz Azul as each team looks to secure their first points of the Clausura 2024.

Saturday's Liga MX schedule

Saturday sees Mazatlán FC at Toluca and Tijuana at Atlas sandwiched around the América-Querétaro match. 

Toluca made a heroic comeback against Querétaro last weekend but they could face point sanctions after former coach Ignacio Ambriz filed a complaint with Liga MX HQ, claiming that the club has yet to pay his severance package.

If true (Liga MX rules mandate clubs indemnify fired coaches before hiring new coaches), the Diablos Rojos could face a hefty fine and be docked points.

The Aguilas return to Fortress Azteca – the scene of their Dec. 17 triumph over Tigres in the Liga MX Finals – as ownership continues to drag its feet over the forced relocation. 

The club has indicated its intention to host Monterrey on Match 5 (on Feb. 3) at the Azteca, rustling some feathers at the national federation who is frantically trying to initiate the much-needed renovation project.

After playing with a second-choice squad last week, América coach André Jardine will roll out his all-star line-up to face the Gallos Blancos on Saturday.

Saturday’s finale is a tough sell with Tijuana visiting Atlas, both of whom fell victim to late goals a week ago.

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We’ll take a closer look at Sunday’s double-header – Guadalajara at Tigres (the marquee match-up, by far) and Monterrey at Santos Laguna – tomorrow.