MEXICO CITY (AP) – A couple of weeks after the original date, the postponed fight for the Mexican Opening tournament title will begin this Thursday night, when Monterrey, under the direction of Argentine Antonio Mohamed, receives an America that He is in pursuit of his 14th title to consolidate himself as the most successful team in local football.
The final series scheduled for the second week of December had to be rescheduled because the Mohamed Rayados had an appointment at the Club World Cup, where they finished in third place to match their best participation in that fair, which had been in 2012 .
Monterrey, which left good feelings in Qatar after falling 2-1 against English Liverpool in the semifinal, must overcome the fatigue of the trip and confirm that good moment by conquering the fifth title of its history, first since the Opening 2010.RELATED
“We are not worn out, we will arrive well, calm down; it will be a unique opportunity for us, ”said Mohamed. “We want to win at home, arrive with advantage on the way back in the Azteca. If not, it will be difficult. ”
Mohamed again assumed command of the mid-tournament in replacement of the Uruguayan Diego Alonso and closed the regular campaign without defeats to qualify for the league with the last ticket available and on the final date. In the quarterfinals, Monterrey left Santos out and in the semifinals he finished with Necaxa.
The Argentine is in his third final with Rayados with whom he lost in Clausura 2016 and Apertura 2017 against Pachuca and Tigres, respectively.
"It will be very nice to have a new possibility, personally it is my third final with Monterrey and I hope it is the charm," said Mohamed, who was crowned in Mexico for the last time at the 2014 Opening, in front of the Eagles, what days After the conquest he was released to hire another coach.
That title was the 12th in the history of America, which in December of last year defeated Cruz Azul in the final of the Opening to add another league scepter. Now look for another to add your fifth title of the decade.
The Eagles try to round off a year 2019 in which they were also champions of the MX Cup and the Champion of Champions.
América, who advanced as sixth place to the league, left out the champion Tigres and then finished with Morelia in two series in which he was forced to come back in the second leg to move on.
“We always start all tournaments with that illusion of being champions and today you can land it, you are two games away from getting it,” said coach Miguel Herrera. “The team is going to kill, we don't find another determination, that characteristic stamp that I put on my teams is held by this America that is in the final and that can get another title; to kill himself on the court, not to lower his arms. We have already shown it twice and this team will not lower the arms until the goal has been set. ”
While Monterrey was in high competition, America gave rest to its players and played only one preparation match to try to keep up.
According to Herrera, the two-week wait affects both teams.
"We are both affected by this situation, because they returned from a long trip, with a defeat in tow, which was well planned and played, but ultimately defeat and you do not achieve your goal," said Herrera. "And we standing, waiting and working, we had a friendly game and we are ready to put together the first game of the final."
The first leg will be at the BBVA stadium in Monterrey, in the north of the country at 8:36 p.m. (1:36 GMT).