If you have not caught Liguilla Fever yet, maybe some of these numbers and Liga MX playoff trivia will nudge you in that direction.
The Tigres are the only Liga MX team that did not lose this season to another playoff team. The No. 3 seed went 4-3-0 against the other seven title contenders. Necaxa was the next best club in that category, going 4-1-2 against all other Liguilla participants.
Morelia and Monterrey had the worst results against other current title contenders. The Monarcas went 1-1-5, only defeating Monterrey, while the Rayados were an embarrassing 2-0-5.
With that in mind, here are a few other numbers to consider.
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Yellow cards received by Morelia, most among playoff teams and second-most in Liga MX (Veracruz-49)
Percentage of Santos passes that go forward, the highest in the league
Goals scored by No. 1 seed Santos Laguna, tops in the league
Goals scored by No. 2 seed León, second most in the league
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Goals allowed by No. 8 Morelia, the most among playoff teams (but only 1 more than Santos allowed)
League titles won by América, the most in Mexican soccer history
Consecutive playoff appearances for the Tigres, the longest active streak in Liga MX
League titles won by coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti, tied for most all time with the legendary Ignacio Trelles
Number of times the Tigres and América have faced off in a “playoff” this year. On July 14, América claimed the Liga MX Champions Cup title via a penalty kick shoot-out after a 0-0 draw. A month later (Aug. 20), the Tigres earned a measure of revenge by bouncing América from the Nations League semifinals after winning yet another penalty kick shoot-out.
And finally, this has nothing to do with numbers, but in my humble opinion the best nicknames in the Liguilla are “Shaggy” and “Chispa.” That would be José “Shaggy” Martínez and Efraín “Chispa” Velarde, Morelia’s right and left fullback, respectively.