By Tom Marshall
After a fascinating last weekend of games, the preliminaries are over in the Mexican league and the playoffs are about to begin with some fascinating ties in store.
Game of the week:
Cruz Azul (1st in general table) v Pumas (8)
In Mexican Spanish the team backed by a cement company, Cruz Azul, has been chingón. In other words: the big daddy, the main man, indisputably Mexico’s best team in the Apertura 2010. Cruz Azul have emerged as the clear favorites for the title having scored more goals than anyone else, let in less and finished top of the general league.
From goalkeeper Jesus Corona, through the spine of the team with Gerardo Torrado and Chaco Gimenez on to strikers of the quality of Emanuel Villa and Javier Orozco, the squad oozes class. Managed by the vastly experienced and multiple title-winning coach ‘Profe’ Enrique Meza, Cruz Azul are the big favorites against Pumas.
A look back in the history books will give UNAM’s Pumas some reason to hope though. The last four times Cruz Azul finished top of the overall standings (1995-96, Invierno 98, Invierno 2000 and Apertura 2006), they were eliminated by the 8th placed team in the quarter finals. If Pumas can grab something in the first leg at home, they could make the second tie a nervy one for Cruz Azul. Last time the two teams met, Pumas won. In fact, Pumas were excellent at home throughout the season.
Off the back of an emotional, if fortuitous, …
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