Atlas is on a league-worst 6-game losing streak, but Veracruz has not won since Aug. 26.
We have reached the obligatory March FIFA break just as Liga MX is about to make the last turn and head for the home stretch. At the top of the standings, León is on an 8-game winning streak – one behind the all-time league record – while right behind the Esmeraldas are the Tigres who are on an 8-game unbeaten streak (7-1-0).
At the other end of the table are Veracruz and Querétaro, with Atlas making a concerted effort to join them in the cellar.
Although Veracruz has yet to win this season, their 4 draws have allowed them to avoid a long losing streak. Atlas leads in that ignominious category, hitting the FIFA break with a 6-game losing streak – the longest in the league this season.
But Veracruz’s futility stretches back to last summer. The Tiburones are on a 21-game winless streak dating back to Aug. 26 when they defeated the visiting Xolos of Tijuana 1-0.
Tiburones are fastest to bottom
Veracruz set an unwanted league record this past weekend, getting relegated at the earliest stage of a season in Liga MX history. The Tiburones “earned” demotion with their 2-0 loss at León on Sunday, a game that came in Matchday 11.
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The record had been held by the Ciudad Juárez Indios who were officially relegated after their 12th game of the 2010 spring season. The Dorados of Sinaloa were mathematically relegated after Week 14 of the Clausura 2016 season, while five teams – including Pachuca in 1997 and Necaxa in 2011 – earned demotion after Matchday 15.
The Tiburones do have the option of preserving their spot in Liga MX with a buy-in fee of 120 million pesos. As relegation became more certain, most reports suggested that Veracruz would pay the fee (just as the Lobos BUAP franchise did after the Clausura 2018 season), but there no official word was forthcoming from controversial owner Fidel Kuri.
On Tuesday, ESPN reported that Kuri had signed a secret deal with the state of Veracruz in which he agreed to sell the team to the state if it were ever demoted. David Faitelson says the state government will pay the fee to keep its team in Mexico’s top division.
Last unbeaten falls
The unbeaten Rayados of Monterrey visited Tijuana on Saturday and were handed their first loss of the season, the last Liga MX team to lose a game in the Clausura 2019. Monterrey started the season 6-4-0.
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Last season, the final unbeaten team fell two games earlier when Cruz Azul was defeated by Necaxa in Matchday 9. The Cementeros had been 6-2-0 before taking on the Rayos at Estadio Victoria in Aguascalientes. Necaxa came away a 2-0 winner in that match, the first game after the obligatory two-week September FIFA break.