Santos, Pumas crack Top 8 after noteworthy victories

The Pumas celebrate after beating América during the Clausura 2019. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
The Pumas celebrate after beating América during the Clausura 2019. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

No movement at the top, but Chivas, Santos and Pumas climb, while Pachuca, Atlas and Cruz Azul sink.

With a huge 1-0 win at home over América, the Pumas rose 5 spots while Lobos BUAP matched them with a clinical victory over cellar-dwelling Querétaro.

Two of last season’s playoff teams are floundering (Cruz Azul and Toluca), but there is plenty of time for both to rectify the situation.

León continues to be a pleasant surprise, boasting the league’s second highest scoring offense and second stingiest defense.

Without further ado, here are our Power Rankings after Matchday 7 results:

1. Monterrey (-)

The Rayados squeaked by an inferior Monarcas side, but a road win is a road win. And man is that offense producing!

2. Tigres (-)

Coach Tuca Ferretti has quality subs across all three lines which should allow the Tigres to avoid any slumps. With Carlos Salcedo anchoring the back line, Tuca has the freedom to tinker with his attackers.

3. León (-)

The Esmeraldas are playing a very exciting brand of soccer with a solid defense as the foundation. Their next two matches will reveal if they are contenders: at Pumas, and vs Santos.

4. Chivas (+3)

Guadalajara still seems to be doing it with mirrors but the Chivas defense is not a mirage. If Alexis Vega can continue producing, watch out!

5. Necaxa (-)

The Rayos have no hope of staying in the top 5 unless they improve their defense. Their offense can score goals, but Necaxa has conceded 10 goals in six matches.

6. Santos (+4)

Getting a road win (at Estadio Azteca, no less) without your best player will always get you a bump up in the Power Rankings.

Pumas, Santos move up in rankings
Hugo Nervo (right) celebrates after his goal evened the score against Cruz Azul at Estadio Azteca. Santos went on to win 2-1. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images) /

7. América (-3)

The Aguilas have now been shut out two games in a row. When is the last time that happened?

How about 14 months ago when América was blanked in 4 straight playoffs games.

8. Pumas (+5)

UNAM is brimming with confidence after finally beating América. Next up is a Copa MX group stage match at home on Wednesday (a tie clinches first place), then No. 3 León pays a visit Sunday.

9. Tijuana (+2)

Coach Oscar Pareja has his team playing with discipline and patience. They only need one more win to match their season total from the Apertura.

10. Lobos BUAP (+5)

These guys don’t know they aren’t supposed to be winning games. They have climbed out of the relegation zone … for now.

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11. Pachuca (-5)

The Tuzos seem to be playing with some style, but do not have a killer instinct. That has cost them points and they can’t afford to squander leads and hope to make the Liguilla.

12. Atlas (-5)

After a nice 3-1-1 start to the season, the Zorros have produced two real stinkers. Getting creamed by crosstown rivals Chivas will not sit well.

13. Cruz Azul (-4)

Coach Pedro Caixinha met with ownership right after Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Santos. The fans – those bothering to attend Cementero home games – are calling for his head.

14. Toluca (-2)

The Diablos rival Cruz Azul for underachieving this season. They have been shut out in four of their past five games. Coach Hernan Cristante is under fire.

15. Puebla (-1)

This plucky club plays until the final whistle and refuses to give up. It paid off against Pachuca as Matías Alustiza scored the equalizer in minute 90+3.

16. Morelia (-)

The Monarcas gave Monterrey a good game before giving up a late goal. They are definitely closer to the 15th spot than the 17th.

17. Veracruz (-)

Not much difference between Tiburones and Gallos Blancos, and it is a bit odd that a team with 0 goals scored is not in dead last … but Querétaro has given up twice as many goals as Veracruz.

18. Querétaro (-)

If this were the NBA, we’d say ownership is tanking in hopes of getting the top draft pick. And now, the Gallos Blancos are looking for a new coach.