Just two matches remain. Still, so much can change in a week.
This league is awesome. In Jornada 15 of the Liga MX Apertura, we saw some incredible matches. Pachuca absolutely smashed Necaxa 6-2. Queretaro stunned Santos Laguna 2-1. Cruz Azul re-took top spot in the table by beating Pumas 2-1. Entertaining stuff from the Mexican top flight.
Now with Liguilla just over the horizon, Cruz Azul and Club America have definitely booked their ticket to the playoff competition, while Santos has all but clinched a spot. We should see more teams secure a spot after this week, but headed into the matches, just Necaxa, Atlas, and Veracruz have been mathematically eliminated.
1. Club America (+0)
Certainly disappointed to come up with a second consecutive draw, but as the top scoring team and 2nd-best goals-conceded mark they are in a good position. They’ve lost fewer matches than any team in Liga MX, but have been unable to turn draws into wins, leaving them in dangerous positions. Henry Martin was able to provide a goal from the striker position against Toluca, but they’ll need more to get where they want to be.
Tom Buckley: Aguilas fall out of first place after two listless ties. Coach Herrera needs to find a striker … fast.
2. Cruz Azul (+2)
Impressive week from Cruz Azul, proving they are for real, this season but winning the Copa MX and then taking out an excellent Pumas side on Pumas’ own turf.
Tom Buckley: Copa MX win followed by great road win finds Cementeros back on top od the standings.
3. Santos Laguna (-1)
Still in solid position after failing to come home with any points against Queretaro. Los Guerreros lost for just the 3rd time in the Apertura and still haven’t gone a match without scoring a goal in Liga MX play. Not the end of the world for them, but with matches against America and Pumas up next, things won’t get easier.
Tom Buckley: Defending champs stumble against an inspired Querétaro; could serve as a wake-up call with Liguilla on horizon.
4. Pumas (-1)
Fell to Cruz Azul, but there is no shame in that. The bounce back will be extra important, though. A loss to Toluca this weekend could see Pumas fall as low as 7th in the table depending on results from other matches. Either way, Pumas have a fight on their hands.
Tom Buckley: Tough home loss vs Cruz Azul means they must recover quickly (at Toluca) or risk sliding down the table.
5. Monterrey (+2)
For as disappointing as they’ve been this season, they are still sitting pretty with 26 points and matches against Necaxa and Atlas remaining.
Tom Buckley: Could the Rayados be getting healthy at just the right time? If so, watch out!
6. Toluca ( -1)
It looked like Toluca might really shake-up the table when they won the ball and quickly got it to Alexis Vega to take a lead just two minutes into the match against Toluca. Unfortunately, they couldn’t generate enough mistakes from Las Aguilas the rest of the match and America were able to pull back. A draw at the Azteca is nice, but oh, what could have been.
Tom Buckley: The Diablos continue to scrap and claw. With Pumas at home next, they could climb into the top 4 with a win.
7. Pachuca (-1)
Yes, they were playing Necaxa, but has there been a more convincing win in Liga MX this season? They went into a match they were expected to win and completely bossed it. Franco Jara and Victor Guzman are now just behind Julio Furch and Jonathan Gonzalez for top goal-scoring duo in the league.
Tom Buckley: Nine goals in their past two games has Tuzos thinking playoffs. Pachuca visits Atlas next.
8. Tigres (+0)
Avoided falling out of a Liguilla spot, aided by an early red card from Monarcas. WIns are wins, though. Winning pretty doesn’t get you extra points, anyway.
Tom Buckley: Still doing just enough to win but that probably won’t get it done in the Liguilla.
9. Queretaro (+1)
Didn’t even get a goal from Camilo Sanvezzo and still proved me wrong. Tiago Volpi made a whopping eight saves and now have an excellent shot at Liguilla.
Tom Buckley: Inspired Gallos Blancos continue to buck the oddsmakers. An easy finish (Veracruz, Necaxa) could help them claim the 8th seed.
10. Monarcas (-1)
Undone by discipline. The red card foul in the 22nd minute undid any momentum Monarcas had against Tigres and they couldn’t keep the Monterrey side off the scoreboard. Oh, that was because of a foul in the box, too. Discipline killed them.
Tom Buckley: Morelia must beat Tijuana on the road (without suspended captain) to keep playoff hopes alive.
11. Puebla (+2)
Still with a chance to squeak into Liguilla, but they’ll need some help. Hats off to them for keeping close, they just don’t have enough to do it.
Tom Buckley: Camoteros are still mathematically alive but a visit to Tigres is a stiff challenge.
12. Chivas (-1)
Let a 2-0 halftime lead slip away against an underwhelming offense in Puebla. Pack it up, focus on Clausura 2019.
Tom Buckley: Locker room dissension emerges as Chivas crash and burn.
13. Leon (-1)
Drew with Atlas on the road and didn’t look particularly good in the process, especially considering they played against 10 men for the last 24+ minutes.
Tom Buckley: Esmeraldas playing for pride now and sinking Chivas could serve as whipping boy.
14. Lobos (+1)
One of two clubs in Liga MX who are unbeaten in their last 5 matches. Nice to see them on this run, but now the question will be whether this is the new Lobos or just a case of a team playing loose and free at the end of a lost season.
Tom Buckley: Lobos have climbed out of relegation cellar but must continue to produce.
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- Pumas: In Search of Regaining a Top Spot
- Why the United States Is Set to Overtake Mexico on the World Stage
- Erick Gutierrez is out once again
15. Club Tijuana (-1)
We knew it’d be a struggle for Xolos to score this season, but this has been worse than expected. 11 goals is just 1 ahead of Atlas but, in truth, Atlas has the better offense.
Tom Buckley: Xolos have lost 4 of 5 to sink into the bottom third of the standings.
16. Atlas (+0)
They’ve done well to climb out of last place. Unlikely to get more against Pachuca this week, but Necaxa is in their reach for another team to jump in the table.
Tom Buckley: Unbeaten in 3 straight, Zorros look to play spoiler vs Pachuca this weekend.
17. Necaxa (+0)
Ouch. Make it stop.
Tom Buckley: Simply dreadful.
18. Veracruz (+0)
We have nothing else to say about Veracruz, at this point in time.