League-leading America to face second-place Cruz Azul in Mexican soccer

Mexico City, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- League-leading Club America will square off Saturday night against second-place Cruz Azul in a highly anticipated Matchday 14 showdown in Mexican soccer's Apertura championship.

America (27 points) has a record of eight wins, three draws and two losses and is just one point ahead of Mexico City rival Cruz Azul coming into their match in high-altitude conditions at the capital's Estadio Azteca, the home ground for both teams.

The rivalry makes for an intense match no matter the circumstances.

But the stakes are higher on this occasion because if one team wins it will end the weekend in first place with just three games remaining in regular-season play in the Apertura, the first of two championships in the 2018-2019 Mexican-league season.

America will almost surely remain in first if the contest ends in a draw.

Last weekend, America took over first thanks to its 3-0 win over Tijuana and Cruz Azul's 2-0 loss to Queretaro in Matchday 13.

"Cruz Azul has shown something different from previous tournaments. That in itself means a change in what the match will be like, because (the Azules) tended to have certain difficulties when they faced America. I think this time it'll be different," Moises Muñoz, a retired goalkeeper and former Club America player, said a few hours ago.

Matchday 14 will kick off on Friday with a match between third-place Santos Laguna (25 points) and fifth-place Monterrey (23 points) and another pitting 17th-place Veracruz against 10th-place Pachuca.

Four other matches are on tap for Saturday in the Mexican league: Necaxa-Atlas, Tigres UANL-Lobos BUAP, Guadalajara-Morelia, and Tijuana-Pumas UNAM.

The round will end on Sunday with two matches: Toluca-Queretaro and Leon-Puebla.

Most of the 18 Liga MX teams are still in contention for the eight playoff spots in the Apertura, whose regular season ends on Nov. 25.