Here we go with another Weekend Guide. We’re off for the semifinals in Mexico, a decisive match in Paraguay and the newly reborn league in Indonesia.
(All the hours are in CET local time)
Amateur (Like this defender)
What? Monterrey – América (Liga MX)
When? Sunday, 0330
Where? Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Monterrey
Why? Even though Monterrey finished 1st at the end of the regular season, they feel the pressure of an elimination. They lost to the 4th ranked América 0:1 in the first leg of the semifinals, and now need to win in order to remain in the title picture.
Key Players: Both teams have tremendous strikers who’ll have chance to score more. Rogelio Funes Mori of Monterrey (19 goals) and Oribe Peralta of América (17 goals) are the top scorers of their teams.
Who's the Boss: In the other semifinal, it’s Pachuca vs León. The interesting fact is that both have the same owners – two companies named Grupo Pachuca and Grupo Carso.
Professional (like that kick)
What? Libertad – Guaraní (Paraguayan Primera División)
When? Sunday, 0000
Where? Estadio Dr. Nicolás Léoz, Asunción
Why? Club Libertad are only one draw away from winning the title. Libertad are in 1st place, 3 points more than the reigning champions, Olimpia. Guaraní are in the 4th place and don't want any team celebrates against them. By the way, if Libertad will lose and Olimpia will win, the tie breaker will be a playoff match for the title.
Key Players: Every team needs veteran players, so we have two 36 years old players as the players to watch. In Libertad it’s Sergio Aquino, who plays for the club since 2006 and won 8 Paraguayan titles with the team. Julio César Cáceres of Guaraní is remembered from his periods in River Plate and Boca Juniors, as well his international career with Paraguay national team.
Coincidence: 61 international caps for Paraguay and being part of the squad in 2002 World Cup. You can say it about Julio César Cáceres, but you can say it also about his manager in Guaraní, Francisco Arce.
World Class (like this goal)
What? Perseru Serui – Persija Jakarta (Indonesia Super League)
When? Sunday, 0900
Where? Marora Stadium, Serui
Why? Political intervention prevented any Indonesian football last year, but now football is coming back to the country, with a great opening for the season. Persipura Jayapura, one of the biggest teams in Indonesia, tied for the 2nd place with 7 out of 9 points. They will travel to Perseru Serui, who’s ranked in the 8th place with 5 points.
Key Players: Amadou Gakou came as an anonymous striker from Mali, but until now he is on fire for Perseru Serui attack. Persija have their faith with Andritany Ardhiyasa, a 24 years old goalkeeper who plays for the team since 2010.
And nicknames for all: Perseru and Persija, alongside with names like Persipura or Persib have no meaning. It's actually a way to nickname the word Persatuan, which means unity or association in Indoensian.