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CONCACAF Champions League | Semi-Finals | 1st Leg
Apr 24, 2024 at 3.15am UK
Estadio Azteca

America
1 - 1
Pachuca

Zendejas (12')
Zendejas (39'), Jardine (40'), Lichnovsky (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Micolta (40')
Rodriguez (48'), Sanchez (58'), Berlanga (62')

Preview: Club America vs. Pachuca - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions Cup clash between Club America and Pachuca, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup (CCC) begin with Club America hosting Pachuca in the opening leg of that tie, which takes place on Tuesday at Estadio Azteca.

Both sides eased past their quarter-final opponents, with Aguiles defeating the New England Revolution 9-2 on aggregate, while Los Tuzos knocked out Herediano by a combined score of 7-1.


Match preview

 Club America striker Brian Rodriguez celebrates scoring against the New England Revolution in the 2024 Champions Cup© Reuters

It has become a custom at this tournament to see America among the last four teams in the hunt to lift this trophy when they qualify for the CCC, and that is the case once again this season.

Seeing them advance beyond this stage, however, has not been quite as frequent, with this team making the semis for the fourth time since 2018, but qualifying for the final on only one occasion over that stretch, in their previous appearance in 2021.

America come into this contest on a three-match winning run at Estadio Azteca, scoring 10 goals in their last two matches played there, including a 5-2 triumph in the second leg of their quarter-final tie with the Revolution.

In his first season as manager, nearly everything has gone right for Andre Jardine, with the Brazilian guiding them to the Apertura title earlier this season, while they are tied for first in the Clausura with Toluca, and they are two games away from potentially making the final of this competition.

Over the weekend, their five-match unbeaten run in all competitions ended when they suffered a 2-1 domestic defeat at Pumas, their first competitive loss when scoring first in 2024.

Tuesday will be the first time they face Pachuca in this competition, with Millonetas earning a positive result in two of their previous three domestic encounters against them, including a 4-0 triumph the last time out.

Pachuca forwards Oussama Idrissi  in action at the 2024 CONCACAF champions Cup© Reuters

Since the start of the 2024 Champions Cup, Pachuca have been nearly impenetrable defensively, conceding just once in four encounters, fewer than any side remaining in this competition.

While they currently sit sixth in the Clausura table, Guillermo Almada's men are in solid form heading into this clash, winning four of five competitive fixtures this month, including a 2-0 triumph over Santos Laguna on Saturday.

Pachuca have won their last three away matches in all competitions, failing to concede a single goal in any of those contests and outscoring their opponents by a combined margin of 10-0.

This will be their first appearance in the semi-finals of this tournament since 2017, and making it this far usually means good things for the club from Hidalgo, who have gone on to lift this trophy the last two times they made it to this stage of the tournament.

While they have never been eliminated at this stage of the competition, Los Tuzos have also never won an opening CCC semi-final leg, playing to a 1-1 draw versus Toluca in 2010 and losing 2-1 to Dallas in 2017 but winning match two both times to advance.

They have emerged victorious in two of their last three meetings with America while losing just one of their last five visits against them at Estadio Azteca (4-0 defeat in 2023).

Club America CONCACAF Champions Cup form:


Club America form (all competitions):


Pachuca CONCACAF Champions Cup form:


Pachuca form (all competitions):



Team News

Club America defender Kevin Alvarez in action at the Champions Cup versus the New England Revolution© Reuters

With a 4-0 cushion heading into leg two of their tie with New England, there were plenty of new faces in the America starting 11 for that return engagement, including Kevin Alvarez, Ramon Juarez, Luis Fuentes, Julian Quinones and Diego Valdes.

Despite his red card in stoppage time of their weekend defeat versus Pumas, Brian Rodriguez, who scored in both of their CCC quarter-final affairs, is eligible to play on Tuesday.

Valdes and Quinones scored the opening two goals for them at home versus the Revolution, while Henry Martin and Alejandro Zendejas netted in both quarter-final fixtures along with Rodriguez.

Celso Ortiz could soon be back for Pachuca from a sore knee, Israel Luna is unlikely to feature because of an ACL injury, while Erick Sanchez is eligible to return, having missed their Liga MX clash this past weekend due to a yellow card suspension.

A 47th-minute strike from Bryan Gonzalez gave them an early second-half lead against Herediano at home earlier this month before Salomon Rondon netted the winner just before the hour mark, his seventh of the tournament, as he is currently the top goalscorer.

Club America possible starting lineup:
Malagon; Alvarez, Caceres, Lichnovsky, Fuentes; Fidalgo, Dos Santos; Dilrosun, Sanchez, Zendejas; Martin

Pachuca possible starting lineup:
Moreno; L. Rodriguez, Barreto, Micolta, Gonzalez; Deossa, Pedraza; Lopez, Luna, Idrissi; Rondon


SM words green background

We say: Club America 2-1 Pachuca

This is a tough one to call as both sides have experience and boast a lot of attacking quality, but in the end, we believe home-field advantage and the recent experience of America in these big spots will propel them to a narrow victory against a strong defensive unit, who have a history of beginning these ties poorly.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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Game History

How you voted: America vs Pachuca

Club America
70.4%
Draw
11.1%
Pachuca
18.5%
27
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