Club America walked out of C.U. stadium Wednesday night with a 1-0 victory over Pumas of UNAM in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Liga MX. Pumas against America has become one of the most intense games in all of Mexican soccer due to the fact they play in the same city and the rivalries between fans has been growing and growing.
Club America now have the edge in this tie forcing Pumas to go out and score a minimum of two goals in America’s house; the mythical Estadio Azteca. 1-0 win by Pumas would level the aggregate score, and both teams would also be level on away goals. Club America would then move on based on their higher table position; America finished the season in 2nd place while Pumas finished in 7th.
America started the game with a bit more intensity than the home side. The “Aguilas” went out in search for a goal early in the game and came close on a few occasions. In the 3rd minute of play right back Paul Aguilar joined in the attack, but his cross came in behind Rubens Sambueza who was all alone in front of goal ready to tap it in.
In the 12th minute Rubens Sambueza hit the ball from the outside of the box that was heading for the top corner of the goal. Pumas goalkeeper Alejandro Palacios was forced to make a big diving safe.
Club America would get what they were looking for in the 28th minute. A long pass out of defense by Paul Aguilar found Christian “Chucho” Benitez. Benitez with little angle to shoot sent in a cross to the second post where Raul Jimenez appeared with a diving header to score the goal.
In the second half America looked to control the game with ball possession. They looked to go forward at a slow pace making sure they were well aware of their defensive responsibilities. Pumas tried to push forward for an equalizer but could never break down the tough America defense.
The return leg is scheduled for Saturday evening at 5:00 PM local time (3:00 PM in the pacific) at the Estadio Azteca.