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The first leg of the Mexican league final is to be played tonight and judging by comments from players on both teams, it will be an action packed night that you won't want to miss.
America and Cruz Azul have developed a heated rivalry in the last decade and have yet to meet in a final during that period. The final is a very special occasion because it will not only define who the champion of an incredibly competitive tournament is, it will also mean the culmination of a long-standing athletic grudge.
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The excitement is palpable in Mexico City, where tickets have been sold out and scalpers have been reselling tickets at astronomical prices to fans who are more than willing to pay for them in order to witness a part of soccer history. More than 50 people have been arrested in an effort to curb illegal reselling of tickets for tonight's game.
Cruz Azul goalie Jesus Corona is especially keen on beating America. When he was playing for Tecos in 2005 he encountered the Aguilas in the final stage of the tournament and lost in a humiliating 7-3 result. And during regular season matchups against America, he has performed diligently and is now looking to consolidate his team with a victory in the finals. Helping Corona and the rest of Cruz Azul win the much coveted title will be Argentinian Mariano Pavone who scored 12 goals during the season and has been a major part of Azul's success.
Standing in front of them will be Christian Benitez, the league's top scorer in the last three consecutive seasons and America's key forward. His efforts might pay off tonight when he matches up against Corona and the rest of the Cruz Azul lineup looking to win his first title with America. And Benitez is no stranger to winning. His performance was key back in 2008 when he led team Santos Laguna to victory.
The excitement has certainly crossed the border and many Mexican football fans on this side of the Rio Bravo are eager for tonight when the first leg gets underway at 10 PM EDT from Estadio Azul. Fans need not to worry as the final will be widely available on television, both from Univision Deportes Network and ESPN.
There are no excuses to miss the game, so get comfortable and get ready for an exciting night of soccer.