Pachuca steals final spot in the 2024 LIGA MX Clausura Playoffs

Club de Fútbol Pachuca completes the lineup for this year's final eight in the Liga MX Clausura Playoffs. The result of this is that they will face Club América in the Quarter Final.
Pachuca v Necaxa - Play-in Torneo Clausura 2024 Liga MX
Pachuca v Necaxa - Play-in Torneo Clausura 2024 Liga MX / Jam Media/GettyImages

On Sunday evening, Pachuca overcame the challenge of Necaxa to reach the final eight of this season's Clausura playoffs.

Fans endured a lengthy wait for a pivotal moment, which finally arrived when Pachuca broke the deadlock in the 79th minute. After a series of quick passes down the left-hand side, Bryan González found himself on the byline and in a great position to feed the ball into the path of Alan Bautista, smashing his effort into the roof of the net.

The floodgates opened, and Pachuca soon looked home and dry when Nelson Deossa was brought down in the box by Alexis Peña. Converting the subsequent penalty, former Premier League striker Salomón Rondón placed his shot down the middle to beat the diving Ezequiel Unsain.

Four minutes between the two goals and Pachuca were all but confirmed for the Playoffs. Although it would not be a Mexican football game without some late drama, and that is what Necaxa brought when they grabbed a consolation game in the 96' minute. After a scramble in defence, Bryan Garnica gained possession on the edge of the box. With a deft touch, he chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, placing it perfectly into the top right corner.

Despite eagerly grabbing the box and starting play again in search of an equaliser, the full-time whistle soon ensued. A result that would mean that Pachuca would join Pumas UNAM, who beat Pachuca last week via a penalty shootout, as the two play-in qualifiers.

Details for the Playoffs

This Wednesday, 8th May, Pachuca and Club América will go head-to-head after the former qualified to take the eighth seed in this season's playoffs.

Popcorn will need to be at the ready for this one, as Pachuca and Club América recently faced off in a two-legged clash for the CONCACAF Champions League semi-final. That time around, Pachuca got the better of the 14-time Liga MX Champions. Following a 1-1 draw in Mexico City, Pachuca won the second leg 2-1 to arrange a final with Columbus Crew.

Club América enters this Quarter Final with the best record from the Clausura, losing only two games from the 17 played. In their final five games of the regular season, Andre Jardine's side only lost one of their five games, which came during a 2-1 loss to Pumas. The only other loss which América recorded during the Clausura regular season came against Pachuca back in February.

Despite their fine form coming into this clash, their record against Pachuca does not make for fine reading. It is fair to say that Pachuca is a 'bogey team' for Mexico's most successful team right now. Across their last five meetings, Las Aguilas have only one once. A win that came during a 4-0 triumph in the 2023 Apertura. Since then, the clubs have played three times where Los Tuzos have won twice.

The Quarter Final Playoff Lineup

These games for these playoffs will be played on Wednesday, 8th May, with the second leg being scheduled for Saturday, 11th May.

These Quarter Finals are as follows:

1. Club América (1) vs (8) Pachuca

2. Toluca (3) vs (6) Chivas

The next set of fixtures will take place on Thursday 9th May, and the second leg is to be played on Sunday 12th May.

These fixtures include:

3. Cruz Azul (2) vs (7) Pumas UNAM

4. Monterrey (4) vs (5) Tigres UNAL