By MARK LORENZANA
Club América and the Monterrey Rayados both punched their tickets to the Liga MX semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 15, after dispatching their respective opponents — Club Puebla and Cruz Azul — in convincing fashion.
América defeated Puebla 5-1 on the evening of Saturday, in a match that came after the Mexico City-based club similarly humiliated their foe, 6-1, in a previous game, finishing the two-game series with a record 11-2 goal advantage.
The 6-1 and 5-1 wins by América against Puebla in the quarterfinals set a new record for the most number of goals scored by the same team in a series in a Liga MX tournament. The previous record belonged to Santos Laguna, in the 2010 Bicentennial tournament, when the La Comarca Lagunera-based club thrashed Morelia on an aggregate score of 10-4, after a 3-3 draw in the first leg and a 7-1 rout in the second leg.
The club has been on a tear as of late, which is a treat for América’s most ardent fans. Already one of the most popular — and most decorated — soccer clubs in the history of the Liga MX, América seems to keep adding more feathers to its cap. For instance, not only did América notch its ninth consecutive win on Sept. 10 against Club Necaxa, but it had also scored a historic win against its fellow Mexico City-based Liga MX rivals, Cruz Azul, 7-0, in August.
The other unfortunate Liga MX teams that had been on the receiving end of América’s impressive run of victories — aside from Puebla, Necaxa, and Cruz Azul — included Juárez, Pumas UNAM, Pachuca, Querétaro and Mazatlán.
In the other quarterfinals series, Cruz Azul succumbed to the Rayados, 0-3, after both teams figured in a scoreless draw in the previous game.
Cruz Azul had several shots at goal, but none found the mark — they crashed the ball into the goalpost twice, another three attempts ended being stifled by Argentinian goalkeeper Esteban Andrada and several more were shot wide — dashing the Cementeros’ semifinals hopes.