Necaxa slips, trades places with resurgent Santos

Necaxa fell out of the spot after a draw while Santos moved back to No. 1, a position it has become familiar with. (Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Necaxa fell out of the spot after a draw while Santos moved back to No. 1, a position it has become familiar with. (Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
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Necaxa slips in rankings
Pachuca striker Franco Jara laments a missed opportunity in his team’s 1-0 home loss to FC Juárez. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Second half of Liga MX table chock full of pretenders

9. Pachuca (-4)

What a disappointment. The Tuzos were the hottest team in the league coming into a home game against minnows FC Juárez and they laid an egg. They are the Jekyll and Hyde of Liga MX and their mercurial playmakers – Edwin Cardona and Rubens Sambueza – were silent on Saturday.

10. UNAM (-2)

The Pumas simply ran into a better team on Sunday, but they fought gamely against León. Their failure to protect a 1-0 lead in the first half (they held it for just 6 minutes) was a gut punch, and León’s second goal came off a wrongly awarded corner kick.

11. Cruz Azul (-2)

This team appears dead in the water and they probably should be even lower. The Cementeros made several uncharacteristic errors and were too profligate on offense. Time to start preparing for next season.

12. Monterrey (+3)

The Rayados climb despite settling for a home draw against the lowly Chivas. That speaks more to the poor quality of teams in the middle of the table than to anything else. Monterrey was constantly on the attack and were denied a win because of superior goaltending by José Antonio Rodríguez.

Necaxa slips Power Rankings
FC Juárez gave their coach, former Tuzos star Gabriel Caballero, a big gift on Saturday. A win in his return to Pachuca. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

13. FC Juárez (+3)

These guys play such a disciplined game. They rarely lose their tactical shape and, when they sneak out on attack, teammates cover up until the attackers hustle back into line. A great road win for the Bravos against Pachuca. We’ve said it before … coach Gabriel Caballero gets more out of his players than anybody else in Liga MX.

14. Tijuana (–)

A disappointing result in Torreón but the Xolos were playing without three key players, all of whom were missing due to red-card suspension. It’s getting late, but coach Oscar Pareja still has time to tighten the ship.

15. Atlético San Luis (-3)

This team will be under a cloud for several weeks because of the violence that erupted in their stadium. That means they might be playing the next few home games away from home. That won’t help down the stretch.

16. Toluca (+1)

The Diablos had a bye and, despite their sub-par season, they are only 6 points out of a playoff spot with five games to play. That means they must win against Pachuca at home on Sunday.

17. Puebla (-4)

The Camoteros did not carry any momentum from their surprise pre-FIFA break win streak. It didn’t help that star striker Lucas Cavallini was held out the first half since he had played for Canada over the FIFA break.

Necaxa slips
Despite terribly disappointing seasons, neither Monterrey nor the Chivas are eliminated from the playoffs yet. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

18. Guadalajara (–)

The Chivas have not hit bottom yet, but it appears as if they are trying. A forgettable season for Mexico’s most popular team.

19. Veracruz (–)

This team has completely lost focus and it is understandable since several players have not been paid in months. The entire franchise is in disarray and Liga MX officials should be ashamed how they have acted in addressing this mess.