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Liga MX Week 17: Where to Watch

Who’s playing who? When? And on what channel? All the info you need to catch all the games you’re interested in.

All times Eastern, home team listed first.

Friday, April 25
Querétaro vs Pachuca – 8:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes
Tijuana vs León – 10:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes

Saturday, April 26
Veracruz vs Santos – 6:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Cruz Azul vs Pumas UNAM – 6:00 PM – Unimás
Tigres UANL vs Atlas – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Jaguares de Chiapas vs Atlante – 10:00 PM -Univision Deportes

Sunday, April 27
Toluca vs América – 1:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes
Puebla vs Morelia – 1:00 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes
Chivas de Guadalajara vs Monterrey – 6:00 PM – Unimás / Univision Deportes

Santos Laguna Loses to Lanús, Exits Copa Libertadores

Copa_Bridgestone_Libertadores_logoAn uncharacteristically mistake-prone Santos Laguna were bounced out of the Copa Libertadores after falling 0-2 in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie with Argentina’s Lanús (aggregate score: 1-4).

The away goal from the first leg meant Santos needed just a 1-0 home win to advance. But Lanús came to play, and put tremendous pressure on the hosts from the opening minute. Santos were hardly able to touch the ball, and then a defensive mistake let Lanús open the scoring.

In the 28th minute, Jonathan Lacerda tried to control the ball while facing his own goal inside the box, but he couldn’t control it and ended up giving Ismael Blanco a clear opening to send the ball past Oswaldo Sánchez to make it 0-1 on the night, 1-3 on aggregate, and also cancel out Santos’s away goal.

Santos now needed to score twice just to send the game to penalties, but that hard task got infinitely harder just after halftime. In the 48th minute, Sergio Ceballos was penalized for bringing down Lautaro Acosta inside the box. Paolo Goltz stepped up to take the penalty kick and he sent it into the top corner, out of the reach of Sánchez.

The 0-2 (1-4) scoreline meant Santos needed four goals to advance, and the normally high-scoring team was unable to find even a single goal. And things went from bad to worse in the 73rd minute, when Andres Renteria was given a straight red for striking out at an opponent.

Down a man and significantly behind on the aggregate score, Santos succumbed to the inevitable, falling to Lanús in the Round of 16 and exiting the Copa Libertadores, while Lanús advances to face Bolívar in the quarterfinals.

Highlights

Lineups

Santos: Oswaldo Sánchez, Oswaldo Alanís, Rafael Figueroa (Mauro Cejas 46′), José Javier Abella, Jonathan Lacerda, Juan Pablo Rodríguez (Eduardo Herrera 80′), Sergio Ceballos, Carlos Darwin Quintero, Javier Orozco (Ribair Rodríguez 53′), Andres Renteria, Oribe Peralta.

Lanús: Agustín Marchesin, Carlos Araujo, Paolo Goltz, Carlos Izquierdoz, Maximiliano Velázquez, Diego González (Fernando Barrientos 88′), Leandro Somoza, Víctor Hugo Ayala, Ismael Blanco, Óscar Benítez (Alejandro Silva 79′), Lautaro Acosta (Jorge Valdez 56′).

Cruz Azul, Champions of CONCACAF

concacaf championsWith the first leg finishing in a 0-0 draw in the Estadio Azul, all Cruz Azul needed in this leg was a 1-1 draw to win, and that was exactly what they got. Mockingly nicknamed el Eterno Subcampeón (the Eternal Runner-Up) for their penchant to reach – and then lose – finals, Cruz Azul left that nickname behind, at least for now, as their 1-1 draw with Toluca earned them their 6th CONCACAF title, and with it a berth in the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup, to be held in December in Morocco.

José de Jesús Corona replaced Guillermo Allison between the posts, as CONCACAF reduced his suspension from three games to one, which he had served in the first leg of the final. Like last week’s game, the first half of this one was a tight, closely-contested affair. But just when it was looking certain that the halftime score would still be 0-0, Mariano Pavone appeared to put La Máquina in front.

In the 41st minute, Joao Rojas switched the play, and Marco Fabián sent the ball back into the box for Pavone, who made an unmarked run to the far post to send the ball past the helpless Alfredo Talavera.

Toluca, who had had a number of first-half chances, particularly through Wilson Tiago, rallied in the second half. “El Pájaro”, Édgar Benítez, leveled the score in the 62nd minute; assisted by Tiago, Benítez sent his shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle, a beautiful goal and an important one. However, the draw would not be enough for Toluca; the 1-1 scoreline favored Cruz Azul due to the away goals tiebreaker.

So the Diablos Rojos kept pressing, looking for the goal that would give them the lead. They had their chances, but couldn’t finish any; and Cruz Azul kept the pressure on as well, fighting to keep the 1-1 draw or take the lead, fighting to not let another title slip away. Corona played a big part in earning Cruz Azul the title, as he made a fantastic save in the last minute of stoppage time to prevent Toluca from taking the lead.

The 1-1 score was the final one, and Cruz Azul exploded into celebrations as the away goal gave them the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League title.

Iconic player Christian “Chaco” Giménez, overcome by emotion, explained through tears: “It’s been hard for Cruz Azul to become the champion… There have been a lot of lost finals. Giving a title to the people is the best. It wasn’t easy. We deserve to be champions.”

And now? “We’re going to think about the playoffs.”

Highlights

Lineups

Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Óscar Rojas (Francisco Gamboa 78′), Aarón Galindo, Paulo da Silva, Miguel Ponce, Isaác Brizuela, Wilson Tiago, Antonio Ríos, Carlos Esquivel (Édgar Benítez 53′), Juan Manuel Salguiero (Raúl Nava 46′), Pablo Velázquez.

Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Gerardo Flores, Emanuel Loeschbor, Julio César Domínguez, Rogelio Chávez, Alejandro Castro, Mauro Formica (Christian Giménez 67′), Gerardo Torrado, Joao Rojas (Luis Amaranto Perea 70′), Marco Fabián (Horacio Cervantes 89′), Mariono Pavone.

León Ties Bolívar, Is Eliminated in Copa Libertadores

Copa_Bridgestone_Libertadores_logoDue to the first leg finishing 2-2 last week in Mexico, León needed a win or a multi-goal (3-3+) draw to win this Round of 16 tie. León had not won any of their previous three meetings with the Bolivians in this competition, and this second leg took place in the altitude of La Paz, which is difficult for any away team to play in.

Nevertheless, the visitors took the lead early on. In just the 5th minute, Fernando Navarro pounced on a poorly cleared ball and sent a cross in from the right. Franco Arizala was perfectly positioned to get a head on the ball, and Romel Quiñónez was unable to react in time to keep the header out. León went up 0-1 on the night and 2-3 on aggregate.

But the lead wouldn’t last past the 35-minute mark. León were unable to properly clear the ball, and William Ferreira headed the ball across the six-yard box for Ronald Eguino, who had lost his marker, to finish at the back post.

The 1-1 (3-3) scoreline put the onus back on León to score again, as Bolívar owned the away goals tiebreaker. The home team seemed content to defend and look for counterattacks, while León took control of the ball and tried to move forward. But for the most part, their possession failed to translate into dangerous chances.

Gustavo Matosas used his substitutions, sending Miguel Sabah, Eisner Loboa, and José María Cardenas on to the field. But the very minute after he made the last of those changes, captain Rafael Márquez rendered them useless.

Márquez, who has a long history of losing his cool, received a straight red card in the 77th minute for executing a flying kick into the back of Gerardo Yecerotte. The foul was completely inexplicable and completely unnecessary, and it destroyed León’s hopes of advancing.

Playing with 10 men and chasing the game in the altitude of La Paz, León were unable to mount a comeback.

Bolívar advances to the quarterfinals, and León bows out of the competition.

Highlights

Red Card

Lineups

Bolívar: Romel Quiñónez, Ronald Eguino, Nelson Cabrera, Luis Gutiérrez, Damir Miranda, Gerardo Yecerotte (Lorgio Álvarez 80′), Walter Flores, José Luis Sánchez, Juan Miguel Callejón (Erwin Saavedra 70′), Juan Carlos Arce (Jaime Arrascaita 93′), William Ferreira.

León: William Yarbrough, Fernando Navarro, Jonny Magallón, Rafael Márquez, Juan José Vázquez, Franco Arizala, Carlos Peña (Eisner Loboa 73′), Luis Montes, Edwin Hernández (José María Cardenas 76′), Mauro Boselli, Matias Britos (Miguel Sabah 60′).

José de Jesús Corona Cleared to Play CONCACAF Final

concacaf championsCONCACAF had suspended Cruz Azul’s goalkeeper, José de Jesús Corona, for his part in a brawl at the end of the Cruz Azul-Tijuana semifinal. Corona had received a red card after the game, which Cruz Azul protested to no avail, as the confederation handed the keeper a three-game suspension.

Which Cruz Azul also protested.

This time with a positive result.

The CONCACAF Appeals Committee decided to reduce his suspension from three games to one, the original punishment for the red card. The other two games had been added on for unsporting behavior. The Committee reports:

After thorough review of the case including analysis of extensive video tape, as well as testimony and reports from match officials, the Appeals Committee found a lack of comprehensive evidence supporting any additional sanctions further to the one-game ban levied as a result of the red card Corona was issued after the match in question.

Corona served the first game of his suspension during the first leg of the Cruz Azul-Toluca final last Tuesday. With the other two games removed, he is now eligible to play the second leg of the final this Wednesday (8:00 PM, Unimás / Univision Deportes). The aggregate score from the first leg is 0-0, making Wednesday night’s game a winner-takes-all affair.

Liga de Ascenso Semifinal Schedule

ascensoAlebrijes de Oaxaca, Estudiantes Tecos, and Necaxa made it through the quarterfinals to join Correcaminos in the semifinals (as top seed, Correcaminos advanced directly to the semis).

The first legs will be played on Wednesday, April 23rd, with the return legs coming on Saturday, April 26th at the home of the higher seed.

Correcaminos (1st) vs Alebrijes de Oaxaca (5th)
First leg: Wednesday, April 23rd – 8:00 PM
Second leg: Saturday, April 26th – 10:00 PM

Estudiantes Tecos (2nd) vs Necaxa (3rd)
First leg: Wednesday, April 23rd – 10:00 PM
Second leg: Saturday, April 26th – 8:00 PM

Week 16 Disciplinary Report

disciplinary reportOnly two players picked up suspensions this week, both of them for being sent off in their Week 16 matches with two yellow cards.

Jehu Chipas (Veracruz) and Bruno Pereira (Jaguares de Chiapas) were the two players red-carded in Week 16, in their games against Monterrey and Santos Laguna, respectively, and they’ll now miss their team’s last game of the regular season.

The Tiburones Rojos are out of playoff contention, so next week’s game is their last official game until the Apertura starts up in July, but Jaguares still have a slight chance of reaching the Liguilla.

The Liga MX Playoff Race

liga mxWith just one game left to play in the Clausura 2014 season, there are still five playoff berths up for grabs, and eleven teams fighting for them.

Who’s in? Cruz Azul (33 points), Toluca (31 points) and Pumas UNAM (25 points) have all locked up their spots. La Máquina and the Diablos Rojos will finish in either first or second, while Pumas could finish anywhere from third to fifth.

Who’s out? Tigres UANL (18 points), Atlante (18 points), Puebla (15 points) and Veracruz (15 points) are unable to qualify.

Who’s in the running? Santos Laguna (24 points), América (24 points), Tijuana (24 points), Morelia (21 points), Pachuca (21 points), Atlas (21 points), Querétaro (21 points), Chivas de Guadalajara (21 points), León (20 points), Monterrey (20 points) and Jaguares de Chiapas (20 points) all have a chance.

The qualification scenarios are still quite complex.

Santos, Américaand Tijuana all have 24 points and need just a DRAW to qualify. They could also qualify with a LOSS depending on other results.

Morelia, Pachuca, Atlas, Querétaro, and Chivas all have 21 points and need a WIN and some of the other 21-point teams to LOSE or DRAW to qualify.

León, Monterrey and Jaguares all have 20 points and need a WIN and most if not all of the teams above them to LOSE or DRAW to qualify.

You can play with various scenarios and scorelines with Mediotiempo’s Liguilla Simulator here.

Liga MX in International Competitions: Where to Watch

This week, Santos Laguna and León play the second legs of their Copa Libertadores Round of Sixteen ties, while Toluca and Cruz Azul face off in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.

León drew 2-2 with Bolívar in the first leg, played in Mexico, which means they must win or wrangle a multi-goal (3-3+) draw to advance. A loss would eliminate them, and a 0-0 or 1-1 draw would send Bolívar through on away goals. A 2-2 draw would send the game to penalty kicks (no extra time is played).

As for Santos, they lost 2-1 to Lanús in Argentina in the first leg, which means a 1-0 win would send them through due to away goals, but if Lanús scores, Santos must win by two goals or more. A loss or draw would eliminate them and a 2-1 win would send the game to penalty kicks.

In the other international competition, Toluca and Cruz Azul played a 0-0 draw in the Estadio Azul last week, meaning it’s winner-takes-all here. A scoreless draw would send the game to extra time, while a 1-1 draw or higher would give Cruz Azul the trophy due to away goals.

Tuesday, April 22
Copa Libertadores: Bolívar vs León – 8:00 PM – Fox Deportes

Wednesday, April 22
CONCACAF Champions League: Toluca vs Cruz Azul – 8:00 PM – Unimás / Univision Deportes
Copa Libertadores: Santos Laguna vs Lanús – 11:00 PM – Fox Deportes

Liga MX Jornada 16 Statistics

standings and statisticsWith one week left to play, the playoff field is still unclear. First- and second-placed Cruz Azul and Toluca already had their spots guaranteed (despite losses this weekend), but the only other team to mathematically lock up a spot was third-place Pumas UNAM, who did so thanks to their win against Chivas de Guadalajara. Look for a post later today exploring the playoff race in depth.

Enner Valencia (Pachuca) still leads the individual goalscoring table with 12 goals, despite not scoring against Puebla. He’s followed by Martín Bravo (Pumas – 9) and Michael Arroyo (Atlante – 8).

Santos Laguna is still the best offense with 31 goals for, while Tigres and Puebla have had the hardest time finding the net (11 goals each). Toluca has the best defense with just 13 goals allowed, while relegated Atlante has the worst defense and has allowed 28 goals.

On the disciplinary side of things, the refs handed out 35 yellow cards and just 2 reds this week. Veracruz is still the most carded team with 53 yellows, and also has had the most players sent off (8). Querétaro has accumulated the fewest yellows (28) and Chivas is still atop the Fair Play table.

League Table:

# Team W L T GF GD Points
1 Cruz Azul 10 3 3 26 +8 33
2 Toluca 10 5 1 24 +11 31
3 Pumas 7 5 4 25 +7 25
4 Santos 6 4 6 31 +4 24
5 América 7 6 3 20 +4 24
6 Tijuana 7 6 3 21 -0 24
7 Morelia 5 5 6 20 +3 21
8 Pachuca 6 7 3 19 +1 21
9 Atlas 5 5 6 16 0 21
10 Querétaro 6 7 3 15 -3 21
11 Chivas 5 5 6 13 -4 21
12 León 5 6 5 21 +5 20
13 Monterrey 5 6 5 19 -1 20
14 Jaguares 5 6 5 18 -3 20
15 Tigres 4 6 6 11 -5 18
16 Atlante 5 7 3 19 -8 18
17 Puebla 3 7 6 11 -7 15
18 Veracruz 3 7 6 12 -11 15

Tabla de Cociente – Relegation Zone:

# Team Points Games Average
13 Chivas 117 101 1.1584
14 Jaguares 112 101 1.1089
15 Atlas 109 101 1.0792
16 Veracruz 35 33 1.0606
17 Puebla 107 101 1.0594
18 Atlante 98 101 0.9703