One Liga MX opponent has been defeated by Los Angeles Football Club. Their reward? Another Liga MX opponent.
LAFC defeated Club León 3-0 on Thursday in the Concacaf Champions League, to win the teams’ Round of 16 series with a 3-2 series aggregate edge. And with CCL using a fixed bracket, LAFC know the road, as they’ll next face Cruz Azul in the quarterfinal round.
Cruz Azul defeated Jamaican club Portmore United in their Round of 16 series, winning on a comfortable 6-1 aggregate, but they nearly lost the first leg, in Jamaica, only to rally in stoppage time for two goals to nab a road win.
While Concacaf hasn’t yet confirmed it, Cruz Azul’s big home win, 4-0 this week, over Portmore United means they’ll likely host the second leg, with CCL series home-road order after the first round now determined according to performance in the previous round. A 6-1 aggregate is better than 3-2, so LAFC will likely host the first leg, although again, it’s not official yet. If that is indeed the order, LAFC would host Cruz Azul on the week of March 10 midweek, and the return leg would be held at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City the following week.
Cruz Azul qualified for this CCL tournament by being the 2018 Liga MX Apertura runners-up, and this is their sixth appearance in the modern era (since 2008). They have history of going the distance in the competition, having won it all in 2013-14.
Obviously given LAFC is playing CCL for the first time and are only in their third season, this will be their first time playing Cruz Azul, nicknamed “La Maquina” (the machine). Can they take another Liga MX side down as they progress through the CCL, or will Cruz Azul be too much to handle the first time around? We’ll find out in March when these teams square off.
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