After an opening week of action which gave us several things to talk about with a few surprises, Week 2 action in the Liga MX Clausura 2014 season has several interesting games that stand out as intriguing. Many would tab the game to be played Friday night in Tijuana between Xolos de Tijuana and Club America as the game of the weekend given that it marks the return of America coach Antonio Mohamed to the place where he left a big imprint as a coach having won the Apertura 2012 title with Xolos.
Some might even look to a Saturday late afternoon/early evening game to be played in Monterrey between Tigres UANL and Pachuca in an early season matchup of two teams who disappointed in their openers as many expect much more from them this season given the players on their respective squads. While these two games are intriguing and worth a watch, the game that stands out as being the game of the week in Week 2 action will be played on Saturday afternoon in Mexico City as Cruz Azul play host to Santos Laguna.
Both Cruz Azul and Santos come off opening week draws as they tied 0-0 and 1-1 respectively in games where Cruz Azul looked like a team still in formation and establishing an identity with new coach Luis Fernando Tena at the helm while Santos at times looked a step slower than their rivals Chivas in their draw. Both teams will be looking to put on a better display when they step onto the field Saturday while looking to win three points.
This will be the 38th time these teams meet since Mexico went to the two torneo per calendar year format with ‘Los Cementeros’ (Cruz Azul) having won 16 times and Santos having won 13 times with eight draws. While Cruz Azul have the better overall record in the series during the short season era, going into the game on Saturday it is Santos who are the better team. While not having looked at its best against Chivas, Santos still found a way to trouble Chivas at times and will look to get forward Oribe Peralta going given that he was rather quiet in his play last week.
For Cruz Azul, it will be interesting to see if they can begin to show some attacking fluidity with another week of practice with Tena in charge. At least on paper they have some very good attacking players, but this failed to be seen in their draw against Monterrey. A Cruz Azul player to keep an eye on is Marco Fabian who was the center of some talk during the week so it will be interesting to see how he continues to slot into the team. Unfortunately for a game of this magnitude, there will be nobody to watch the game as the Estadio Azul was given a one match closure because Cruz Azul fans invaded the pitch during the team’s Apertura 2013 playoff elimination to Toluca.