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America begins Liga MX title defense against Atlas

America's Victor Aguilera (C) fights Cruz Azul's Milton Caraglio (L) in the Liga MX Apertura tournament final on Dec. 16, 2018, at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico. EPA-EFE FILE/Jose Mendez

America’s Victor Aguilera (C) fights Cruz Azul’s Milton Caraglio (L) in the Liga MX Apertura tournament final on Dec. 16, 2018, at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico. EPA-EFE FILE/Jose Mendez

EFE

Defending Liga MX champion America begins its title defense this weekend, hitting the road to take on Atlas in its 2019 Clausura tournament debut.

Cruz Azul, which lost to America in the Apertura tournament final, takes on Guadalajara in the showcase match of the weekend.

America, managed by Mexican Miguel Herrera, rescheduled its Clausura tournament debut against Necaxa to March 5, extending its preseason practice period after winning the title on Dec. 16.

The Mexico City-based club will play Atlas, managed by Argentine Angel Guillermo Hoyos, on Friday, beginning the pursuit of another title.

Experts are picking America and Cruz Azul, led by Portuguese manager Pedro Caixinha, as the favorites to win the Clausura title.

Cruz Azul appeared out of rhythm in its tournament debut and only managed a disappointing 1-1 tie against Puebla.

Guadalajara, managed by Paraguayan Jose Saturnino Cardozo, beat Tijuana 2-0 in its tournament debut.

The match will provide a good early test for Cruz Azul and Guadalajara.

Soccer fans will also have their eye on the Toluca-Puebla and Monterrey-Leon matches this weekend.

Toluca and Monterrey feature Argentine strikers Enrique Triverio and Rogelio Funes Mori, respectively, who provide big-time firepower for their clubs.

Triverio had a hat trick in Toluca’s 3-1 win over Morelia, while Funes Mori had a brace in Monterrey’s 5-0 blowout of Pachuca in the tournament’s first match-day.

On Friday, Veracruz takes on the Lobos BUAP, while Atlas and America clash.

Monterrey plays Leon; Cruz Azul takes on Guadalajara; Pachuca clashes with Queretaro; Necaxa plays the Pumas UNAM; and Tijuana tussles with the Tigres UANL on Saturday.

On Sunday, Toluca plays Puebla and Santos Laguna takes on Morelia.


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