On a beautiful sunny day in Carson, CA Liga MX giants Club America were in town to battle for the SuperCopa, or the Mexican league Super Cup. A legion of fans followed their beloved Azulcremas marching down Avalon street singing in unison their customary chants.
Club America came into the match with Miguel Herrera back at the helm after a successful spell with Club Tijuana. The former Mexican national team boss helped Las Aguilas lift their 11th Liga MX title in 2013. Although their run of 11 consecutive Liguilla appearances was snapped, they were inserted into the Super Cup because their rivals Chivas won the domestic double (Liga MX & Copa MX) and they earned the most points in the Copa MX group stage.
Meanwhile, Queretaro was the 2016 Apertura Copa MX Champions after defeating Chivas in a thrilling Championship match. That victory over the now-12 time Liga MX Champs Chivas was the first-ever major trophy for Los Gallos Blancos. Their 2017 campaign left much to be desired, but with new coach Jimmy Lozano in charge, the club responded very well.
It only took a few minutes for Queretaro to set the pace of the match with their relentless attack. One week before the start of the new Liga MX season, America was still stuck in pre-season mode as they were a step behind most of the match. The continued insistence from Los Gallos was rewarded with a penalty in the 13th minute. Emmanuel Villa converted from the spot giving his team the shock upset. At halftime, Queretaro had four total shots to America’s one shot on goal.
The second half, America tried to press in the attack but were unable to find the equalizer. Brilliant runs from 17-year-old Diego Lainez gave the opponents headaches but nothing concrete ever developed. Oribe Peralta had to draw back to get touches and his partnership with Silvio Romero was completely non-existent.
Los Gallos was comfortable to sit back and protect their result, especially in the 63rd minute when Hiram Mier headed the second goal for his team off a corner kick. He leaped over the defense and jerked his head for the powerful header leaving goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin no chance.
In the end, Club America finished the match with seven shots and earned seven corners showing their second half aggression. What’s concerning is that Las Aguilas had trouble stringing a few consistent passes throughout the match. The midfield was discombobulated with no real game plan on display and no creativity other than Lainez.
For Queretaro, their fast start at the beginning of the match was instrumental in their victory. They caught the 12-time Liga MX Champions off guard and could not keep up in the early going. For Los Gallos, collecting their second major trophy in their history could be enough to set them up for a successful league run.
These two clubs will meet again on Saturday, July 22 in the opening week of Liga MX.
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