Despite a disappointing season, the Chivas have a slim chance to make the playoffs, but they’ll need lots of help.
Weeks ago, the Chivas were being counted out, their obituary was being written. Another season of poor results was going to keep them out of the playoffs for a fifth straight season.
But here we are with one game remaining and they are still alive in the race. Recent outstanding performances now have Guadalajara a “Hail Mary” away from the Liguilla. Admittedly, their chances are slim, but there is still hope.
The Apertura is on a FIFA break so the Chivas have well over 10 days to prepare for their season-ending (maybe season-saving) match against Veracruz at the Estadio Akron in Guadalajara. Surely Luis Fernando Tena’s team will come in as the clear favorite since they’ll be facing the worst team in Liga MX. The Tiburones are 1-5-11 on the season, for a total of 8 points. The “Sharks” are already guaranteed of finishing in last place for the third season in a row.
El Rebaño Sagrado is coming off a huge home win over Los Gallos Blancos de Queretaro. The 3-2 victory bumped the Chivas up to 22 points, just 2 points out of the final playoff spot. But since they are in 12th place, Guadalajara will need lots of help to sneak into the Liguilla.
A win moves Guadalajara to 25 points, 1 more point than current 8th place team, Monterrey. So the Rayados and 9th place Tijuana must both lose or tie. If Monterrey ties their match, the Chivas must win by more than 4 goals to make up for the goal differential. Veracruz has the league’s worst defense, conceding 42 goals in 17 games and they are coming off a 5-0 home loss to America.
Right above Guadalajara are the Pumas (10th) and Pachuca (11th), and they play each other on Matchday 19 at the same time the Chivas play the Tiburones. That game (in Pachuca) must also end in a tie or if Pachuca wins the Chivas must win and make up 6 goals in differential since they are -2 while the Tuzos are +4.
Is this possible? Mathematically, yes, but long-suffering Chivas fans must have a lot of faith that their team puts together a fantastic game on the final week of the tournament. And at the same time, other results fall their way.