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Despite having started off the season picking up wins and picking up points, Club America have not looked their finest in some time now. With last weekend's loss to neighboring rivals Pumas UNAM, America have now lost three matches in a row. This slump that the Mexico City giants are going through could start taking its toll on the Mexican National Team which prepares for the summer's FIFA World Cup in Brazil

The Mexican Soccer Federation (FMF) had no choice last November put to take the most in form club and its manager to save the National Team from potential elimination from the World Cup. Miguel Herrera was appointed manager and with him came a long list of in form Club America players. Now those players are not in their finest moments with their new manager Antonio "Turco" Mohamed

Mohamed came into the club to replace Miguel "Piojo" Herrera and realized that the pressure of coming into an in form team was greater that that of coming into a struggling squad. He vowed to try and continue on what Herrera had built, which was good enough to pick up some points early on in the season. But as the weeks have gone by "El Turco" trying to be Herrera is not really working out for the club. 

The slump has already begun to take its toll on the Mexican National Team; young Mexican striker Raul Jimenez who had been a regular call up since before Herrera took over was left out of the squad that will face Nigeria on March 5th. He was replaced by Tigres UANL young striker Alan Pulido. Jimenez and Pulido will have to battle out a spot on the 23-man roster that will go to Brazil in the up coming months.

These two have already had a similar battle with Jimenez edging out Pulido for a spot in the historic Mexican squad that won the Olympic Gold Medal. Left wing-back Miguel Layun will also miss the Nigeria friendly. His absence is due to an injury he picked up with America in their 1-3 loss to Pumas. 

The most worrying aspect for Mexico comes in the central defender position. Two of the three starting Club America center-backs were called up; Francisco Javier "Maza" Rodriguez and Juan Carlos "Topo" Valenzuela. Both defenders have had a huge dip in form with America. 

Valenzuela had a goal conceding mistake in which he tried to play the ball back to the goalkeeper and was intercepted by a Pumas UNAM player. Rodriguez let the desperation get the best of him and got himself ejected from the match after kneeing a Pumas player in the groin during a corner kick. Both players have strong possibilities of reaching the final 23-man roster to go to Brazil, and with Mexico having to face the attacking powers like Brazil and potentially Spain or Holland; the form of the central defenders is something to worry about if you are the Mexican National Team. 

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Club América went to monterrey and got a 2-2 draw out of “The Volcano” as the University of Nuevo León stadium is referred. Due to the away goal rule, the better position in the table, and the fact that 'Águilas' close the series at home where this season they hold a record of 7 wins and one draw; the champions have an important advantage in this quarterfinals tie.

It was the visitors who took the lead through central defender Juan Carlos “Topo” Valenzuela during a corner kick in the 14th minute. Francisco Javier “Maza” Rodriguez laid out his body in front of the end line to flick the ball on after the short corner kick and Valenzuela sent it to the back of the net before Tigres goalkeeper Enrique Palos could get there.

Before the goal it was the host who had been playing dangerously and probably deserved the lead after several close goal scoring opportunities, including a shot to the cross bar while the game was still 0-0. Young Mexican striker Alan Pulido brought the game level in the 31st minute with a high quality volley from a cross in on the left side of the felines territory.

Tigres took the lead moments later through Argentine Guido Pizarro after a long corner kick from the right, a header back into the box, and Pizarro anticipating Goalkeeper Moises Muñoz to the ball.

In the second half true to the style of Tigres manager “Tuca” Ferretti the home side dropped back looking to protect their one goal lead. América on the other hand pushed forward looking for the equalizing goal but did not produce any real danger due to the fatigue that most of their players were suffering after the long trip to New Zealand.

The champs did find that equalizing goal however late in the game when after a Juan Carlos Medina corner Rubens Sambueza sent in another long cross to where central defender Aquivaldo Mosquera waited to hit the ball on the quick bounce and beat the goalkeeper to level the game 2-2.

Despite the draw in San Nicolás de los Garza this away goal advantage gives the Coapa squad a good winning chance at Estadio Azteca for the return game, where they finished the season with seven wins and one draw in eight games; it is Club América who have the important advantage and the heavy favorites to advance to the semifinals.

The return leg match will be next Sunday December 1 at the Estadio Azteca at 6:00pm ET / 3:00pm PT.