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SOCCER

Apertura 2022: América’s poor recent record after playoff preliminary-round bye

On the most recent occasions that Club América have had a week off before the Liga MX playoff quarter-finals, Las Águilas have rarely progressed.

Edgardo Avelar
Update:
On the most recent occasions that Club América have had a week off before the Liga MX playoff quarter-finals, Las Águilas have rarely progressed.
Adrian Macias

After Club América’s warm-up game against Atlante was abandoned due to an electric storm on Wednesday, doubts have been raised over whether the Apertura 2022 regular-season champions’ long period of inactivity will end up affecting their bid to lift the Mexican title in the playoffs.

As one of the top four finishers in the regular-season standings, Fernando Ortiz’s men have qualified automatically for the playoff quarter-finals, where they will face the lowest-ranked team to emerge from the postseason’s preliminary round, which is to be held on Saturday and Sunday.

One win in last four after preliminary-round bye

The last four times that América have had a week off before facing a prelim qualifier in the last eight, they have only managed to beat their opponent once, in the Clausura 2022 tournament. On the other three occasions - in the Apertura 2021, Guardianes 2021 and Guardianes 2020 championships - Las Águilas were eliminated.

See also:

América’s recent quarter-final defeats after week off

In the Clausura 2022, América beat Puebla 4-3 on aggregate, winning the second leg 3-2 at the Estadio Azteca after a 1-1 draw in the opener.

The Apertura 2021, however, saw Los Azul-Cremas lose 3-1 on aggregate to Pumas, whose goals came courtesy of a double by Washington Corozo and one by Higor Matheus Meritao. Víctor Aguilera scored for Los Americanistas.

In the Guardianes 2021, América were knocked out by Pachuca after a 5-5 aggregate draw, with Los Tuzos advancing on away goals despite a 4-2 second-leg defeat. In a thrilling return at the Azteca, Roger Martínez hit a double for América, with Luis Fuentes and Leonardo Suárez also on target for the hosts, but goals by Romario Ibarra and Gustavo Cabral for Pachuca sent the visitors through.

As for the Guardianes 2020, América were defeated by arch rivals Chivas Guadalajara, going down 3-1 on aggregate. Cristian Calderón was the hero for Chivas: his goal gave El Rebaño Sagrado a 1-0 advantage after the first leg at Estadio Akron, before the left-back added a second-leg double to secure a last-four place. Henry Martín replied for América.

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