Copa MX: Only four Round of 16 spots remain open

The Copa MX trophy. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
The Copa MX trophy. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Two teams earned spots in the knockout rounds with wins, while three others qualified by virtue of Wednesday’s results.

Pachuca and Monterrey clinched spots in the Copa MX knockout round with victories on Wednesday night and both will have a chance to improve their seeding during the final matchday next month.

When the Sonora-Puebla game ended in a draw, Querétaro, Guadalajara and Tapachula were guaranteed spots in the Round of 16. All three of these three now-qualified teams have 6 points, while the most Sonora and Puebla can earn is 4 points.

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In Zacatepec, Morelos, Pachuca’s Edwin Cardona scored twice after Romario Ibarra’s opener to lead the Tuzos to a 3-0 win in a Group 9 match. In minute 63, Ibarra banged home a shot off the far post after a nifty individual move to create space inside the box. Cardona doubled the lead in minute 81 with a blast from 22 meters and he scored again in minute 87 with a lovely free kick from just outside the area.

The Mineros created scoring chances in the first half, forcing Pachuca goalie Alfonso Blanco to make two difficult saves, but the Ascenso MX team did not have enough firepower to stay with the Tuzos.

Pachuca now has 7 points and has clinched a spot in the knockout round. They will host Atlas (4 points) on Nov. 6 in their final group match. The Zorros could sneak into first place in the group if they win by 2 goals, and a tie might be enough to earn them a spot as one of the best second-place teams. If Pachuca wins, they could end up as the No. 3 seed behind Toluca and Morelia, both of whom sit on 12 points.

Leones Negros 1, Monterrey 2

Vincent Janssen scored twice for Monterrey as the Rayados clinched a spot in the knockout round. It was the first double for the Dutch striker in a Rayados uniform.

Copa MX
Vincent Janssen scored twice to lead the Rayados into the Copa MX Round of 16 which takes place next year. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Monterrey now has 9 points in Group 2 with one game remaining – a home game on Nov. 5 against the Cafetaleros. The little team from Tapachula, Chiapas, actually has a chance to finish first in the group but they’d have to defeat the Rayados by two goals. A Monterrey win would give the Rayados a top seeding in the knockout round while Tapachula (6 points) is assured of qualifying as one of the top second-place teams.

Sonora 1, Puebla 1

The Camoteros missed out on chance to improve its chances of staying alive in the Copa MX after settling for a tie against the host Cimarrones in a Group q match.

Puebla took the lead in minute 54 with a goal by Fernando Ramírez, but the Cimarrones tied it up 14 minutes later when Jesús López rippled the netting with a nice shot. The two teams meet again in Puebla on Nov. 5, each with a mathematical chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.

Morelia owns first place in the group with 12 points while Puebla and Sonora each have a single point. Another tie would eliminate both teams from the competition.

Copa MX look-ahead

With one matchday remaining, 12 teams have made it into the Round of 16: group winners Morelia, FC Juárez, Toluca, Tijuana, Sinaloa and UNAM as well as Monterrey, Guadalajara, Pachuca, Cafetaleros, Querétaro and Atlético San Luis. The Dorados of Sinaloa and the Cafetaleros of Tapachula (Chiapas) are the only Ascenso MX teams to have advanced to the knockout rounds thus far, but the Venados of Mérida have a great chance to join them from Group 3.

In a battle of Ascenso MX teams, the Venados will travel across the Yucatán Peninsula to play Atlante in Cancún on Nov. 5. The Potros are already eliminated but the visitors can secure a spot in the Round of 16 with a tie. Mérida could even move on with a loss, if Necaxa loses to Celaya on Nov. 6 or if Atlas loses to Pachuca the same day.