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Liga MX Week 17: Where to Watch

liga mxWho’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, November 21
Monarcas Morelia vs Chivas de Guadalajara – 8:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes
Tijuana vs León – 10:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes

Saturday, November 22
Puebla vs Santos Laguna – 6:00 PM – Azteca America
América vs Atlas – 6:00 PM – Univision
Tigres UANL vs Toluca – 8:00 PM – Unimás
Leones Negros vs Cruz Azul – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Pachuca vs Veracruz – 9:06 PM – Telemundo
Jaguares de Chiapas vs Querétaro – 10:00 PM – Univision Deportes

Sunday, November 23
Pumas UNAM vs Monterrey – 1:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes

Featured post

Three Playoff Spots Still Up for Grabs

liga mxWith just one game remaining in the Apertura 2014 season, there are still three playoff spots waiting to be claimed, and seven teams with chances of earning one.

América, Toluca, Tigres UANL, Atlas, and Monterrey have already locked up their spots in the Liguilla, while Tijuana, Leones Negros, Puebla, Veracruz, Chivas de Guadalajara and Monarcas Morelia are mathematically eliminated from qualifying.

That leaves Jaguares de Chiapas, León, Pachuca, Santos Laguna, Querétaro, Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul fighting for the final three slots.

Jaguares, with 25 points, are in the best position to qualify, needing only a draw in their final game (vs Querétaro on Saturday) to ensure a top-8 finish.

León and Pachuca, with 22 points each, are currently in 7th and 8th place, respectively, and their destiny is also in their own hands – for the most part. Santos Laguna, in 9th place, also has 22 points, so if all three of these teams win, then it would come down to goal difference, where León currently leads (+3 to Pachuca’s +1 and Santos’s -1). León will finish the season at Tijuana on Friday, while Santos visits Puebla and Pachuca hosts Veracruz on Saturday.

After those three, there are three teams who need wins and help to reach the Liguilla. For Querétaro, with 21 points, that means beating fellow playoff hopeful Jaguares away and needing at least two of the 22-point teams to fail to win.

For Pumas, also with 21 points but under the Gallos Blancos due to the goals scored tiebreaker, it means defeating already-qualified Monterrey at home and having at least two of the 22-point teams fail to win and they would still need Querétaro to fail to win or they would need to win by a bigger margin than Querétaro (to win the tiebreaker).

The last hopeful, Cruz Azul, has 20 points and is still alive mathematically but requires a lot of help to qualify for the Liguilla. First and foremost, they need to win their final game, away to Leones Negros on Saturday; then they would need at least four of the five teams above them (León, Pachuca, Santos, Querétaro and Pumas) to drop points in various ways.

These are just the simplest scenarios for qualification; for example, Pachuca and León could get in with draws, although that would require a lot of teams below them also dropping points. To take a look at all the scenarios, play around with MedioTiempo’s Playoff Simulator – plug in predicted scores and see who would qualify with those results.

Tijuana vs León – Jornada 17

tijuana leonTijuana ended their season on a high note with a 3-2 win over León, which leaves the reigning champions nervously waiting for other results to see if they’ll have a chance to defend their title. If any two of Pachuca, Santos, Querétaro, Pumas and Cruz Azul win, León would slip out of the top eight and the playoff places.

Dayro Moreno put the home team in front just past the quarter hour mark when he headed a cross from Darío Benedetto down and into the goal with Christian Martínez frozen to his line. León’s hopes of a comeback would take a blow in the 32nd minute, when Nacho González picked up his second yellow card of the night and was sent off.

After going up a goal and up a man, Tijuana had a number of good chances to extend the lead, but they failed to take advantage of their opportunities and they went into halftime up by just a single goal.

That wastefulness in front of goal would come back to haunt them in the second half, when León tied it up in the 68th minute. A Carlos Peña header was redirected by Javier Alván Salas, and unfortunately for the young defender, it ended up in his own net. Salas’s own goal came just eight minutes after he entered the game in his Liga MX debut with Tijuana.

But just three minutes later, another own goal would but the Xolos back in front. There was a controversial play in the box, where Wanderlei de Jesús blocked Darío Benedetto’s shot with both hands but Roberto García Orozco did not call a penalty kick, and as play continued the ball fell to Édgar Villegas, who sent in a low cross that was misdirected into the back of León’s net by Jonny Magallón. Tijuana was back in the lead, 2-1.

Benedetto would score what looked like an insurance goal in the 87th minute, but Mauro Boselli scored his league-leading 12th goal of the season in stoppage time, which set up a frantic final few minutes. León was unable to find an equalizer, though, and La Fiera will have to wait for the rest of the weekend’s results to see if they’ll be in the playoffs.

With the 3-2 win, Tijuana reaches 21 points while León remains on 22.

Highlights

Lineups

Tijuana: Cirilo Saucedo, Juan Carlos Núñez, Hernán Darío Pellerano, Javier Gandolfi, Israel Jiménez, Javier Güemez, Alejandro Guido (Javier Alván Salas 60′), Richard Ruiz (Paul Arriola 72′), Édgar Villegas (Luis Chávez 83′), Darío Benedetto, Dayro Moreno.

León: Christian Martínez, Édwin Hernández, Jonny Magallón (José María Cárdenas 78′), Juan Ignacio González, Jonathan Bottinelli, Elías Hernández, Marcos Caicedo (Martín Bravo 65′), José Juan Vázquez, Carlos Peña, Miguel Sabah (Wanderlei de Jesús 37′), Mauro Boselli.

Monarcas Morelia vs Chivas de Guadalajara – Jornada 17

morelia chivasChivas de Guadalajara gained a little bit of breathing room in their relegation fight with a 1-2 win over Monarcas Morelia, who was playing for pride after a nightmare season with just two wins and double-digit losses.

The visitors started off brightly and Omar Bravo put Chivas in front after just six minutes. The veteran striker’s initial header was saved by Carlos Felipe Rodríguez, who managed to deflect it onto the post, but Bravo was alert to the rebound and pushed the ball home with his left foot to make it 0-1.

Less than ten minutes later, with Morelia temporarily reduced to ten men (Jorge Zárate had been carted off with a pulled muscle and his replacement hadn’t yet entered the game), Omar Bravo struck again. Fernando Arce sent in a great cross, and Bravo found himself unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box. He calmly headed the ball past Rodríguez to make it 0-2.

Morelia looked dead and buried, and Chivas seemed to be well on their way to an incredibly important win. But in the dying moments of the first half, substitute Luis Morales reduced the deficit with a header of his own, and suddenly the home team sprang into life. With the score now 1-2, Morelia spent the final minutes of the half pushing forward with intent, and they even hit the crossbar with Toño Rodríguez beaten. However, that was as close as they came to an equalizer in the first 45.

Monarcas kept up the pressure in the second half as well, with Chivas looking threatening only from set piece opportunities. But despite coming close on a number of occasions – including hitting the underside of the crossbar – Morelia was unable to make their pressure pay off. The 1-2 score held, and José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre earned his first win since taking the helm at Chivas earlier this season, while Morelia slumped to their 11th loss of the season.

With the 1-2 win, Chivas reaches 16 points while Morelia remains on 10.

Highlights

Lineups

Morelia: Carlos Felipe Rodríguez, Víctor Guajardo, Ignacio González, Joel Huiqui, Carlos Morales, Jorge Zárate (Luis Morales 16′), José Ruíz, Erick Aguirre, Óscar Hernández (David Depetris 36′), Duvier Riascos (Martín Alaniz 46′), Óscar Fernández.

Chivas: José Antonio Rodríguez, Néstor Vidrio, Jair Pereira, Carlos Salcido, Carlos Gerardo Rodríguez, Israel Castro, Patricio Araujo, Carlos Fierro (Giovani Hernández 58′), David Toledo (Ángel Reyna 84′), Fernando Arce (José Ramírez 74′), Omar Bravo.

Liga MX Referee Assignments: Apertura Week 17

The referees, assistant referees, and fourth officials for the 17th week of the Apertura 2014 Liga MX season.

Monarcas Morelia vs Chivas de Guadalajara
Referee: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre
Assistant 1: Juan Joel Rangel Maya
Assistant 2: Juan Carlos Salinas Salinas
Fourth Official: Roberto Rios Jácome

Tijuana vs León
Referee: Roberto García Orozco
Assistant 1: Jesús Sevilla Palafox
Assistant 2: Igor Itzsvan Flores Florian
Fourth Official: Jorge Isaác Rojas Castillo

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Apertura Week 17 Preview: Sunday’s Game

Pumas UNAM vs Monterrey – 1:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes
By the time this game kicks off, Pumas UNAM (11th) will know if they have any chance of reaching the playoffs. Even a win won’t be enough for them unless multiple teams above them dropped points earlier this weekend. Their faceoff with Monterrey (5th) is the final game of the Apertura 2014 regular season, and it might be the final game of Pumas’s season as well. Even if they are no longer in contention for a playoff spot, Pumas will want to take advantage of this game to earn their first home win of the season.

As for Monterrey, the Rayados are already qualified for the playoffs and are now just looking to improve their seeding. Their leading goalscorer, Dorlan Pabón, is suspended for this one after earning a red card in Jornada 16, but they still have a number of attacking threats at their disposal, such as the talismanic Chilean Humberto Suazo. Monterrey have been struggling on the road as of late, though, with three losses in their last four road games.

Apertura Week 17 Preview: Saturday’s Games

Puebla vs Santos Laguna – 6:00 PM – Azteca America
An important game for both teams, but for very different reasons. Puebla (15th) is on very precarious ground in the relegation standings, where they’re penultimate and are only staying out of last place due to tiebreakers. On the other hand, a win here could move them as high as 15th, above Leones Negros, Chivas, and Veracruz. The Poblanos are unbeaten in two, but they’re also winless in nine – Puebla has drawn a league-high nine games this season and needs to start picking up all three points if they want to remain in the first division.

As for Santos (9th), the Laguneros are outside of the playoff spots on goal difference, and they need a good result – and some help – to qualify for the Liguilla. They won last time out and are unbeaten in three, but they haven’t won away from home since August. Their best chance of extending their season will come with a win, although there are some possible scenarios that would allow them to qualify with a draw.

América vs Atlas – 6:00 PM – Univision
América (1st) is looking to lock up the highest seed ahead of the playoffs, which they could do with just a draw here, but the Águilas will be looking for a home win to end the regular season. After going winless in their last three games (two draws and a loss), América will want to regain some momentum ahead of the playoffs by defeating Atlas (4th).

Atlas could tie América on points with a win here, but they would need a huge win to overtake the Águilas for the top spot, with América currently having a +11 goal difference to Atlas’s +1. The Rojinegros are not in the best run of form, with just one win in their last four games, and they lost their last away game 4-0. Atlas is already qualified for the playoffs, but the table is tight and they could finish anywhere from first to sixth; they’ll want a win to ensure the best possible seeding for the Liguilla.

Tigres UANL vs Toluca – 8:00 PM – Unimás
Tigres UANL (3rd) and Toluca (2nd) are both angling for playoff seeding here, and both teams have a chance to jump to first place with a win and an América loss. Tigres are unbeaten in their last nine games, with five wins and four draws in that span, and they’ve won three of their last four home games.

As for Toluca, they’re unbeaten in two (a win and a draw) and they’ve done quite well on the road lately too; the Diablos Rojos are unbeaten in their last four road games and have won their last two. These teams have identical goals for and against records (23 for and 16 against) and just one point separates them in the standings. This should be a closely-fought contest.

Leones Negros vs Cruz Azul – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Leones Negros (14th) have climbed up the table on the back of a six-game unbeaten streak, and they have a chance to move off the foot of the relegation table for the first time this season with a positive result here. The Universidad de Guadalajara’s unbeaten run is particularly impressive considering that four of those games were away from home; they’ll now look to close out the season on a high note in front of their own fans.

But Cruz Azul (12th) will have other ideas. As the lowest-positioned team that is still alive in the playoff fight, La Máquina needs a win here – and a considerable amount of help – to qualify for the Liguilla. Cruz Azul has had a torrid season by their lofty standards, and missing out on the playoffs would be thought of as a failure. La Máquina lost last time out, though, and are winless in two. In addition, they haven’t won on the road all season. Even if Cruz Azul defeats Leones, they could still miss out on the playoffs, but if they’re going to go down, expect them to go down fighting (perhaps literally).

Pachuca vs Veracruz – 9:06 PM – Telemundo
Pachuca (8th) missed out on a chance to lock up a playoff spot last week with their controversial 2-1 loss to Santos Laguna, and now they’re facing a must-win game if they want to keep their playoff destiny in their own hands. That loss to Santos ended a five-game unbeaten streak, but even then, three of those games were draws. Pachuca needs a win, and they’ll have to get one with both leading goalscorer Ariel Nahuelpán and defense linchpin Aquivaldo Mosquera suspended.

As for Veracruz (16th), the Tiburones Rojos are fighting to stay above water in the relegation battle and know a loss here could drop them into last place in the Tabla de Cociente. They lost to relegation rivals Leones Negros last week and are winless in their last three; they’ve also only won one away game all season and are the lowest-scoring team in the league. But whether a weakened Pachuca side will be able to take advantage of that remains to be seen.

Jaguares de Chiapas vs Querétaro – 10:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Jaguares de Chiapas (6th) needs just a draw to guarantee their spot in the Liguilla, while Querétaro (10th) needs a win and some help. By the time this game kicks off, the Gallos Blancos should have some idea of if it’s still possible for them to reach the playoffs, since even a win wouldn’t be enough if two of the three teams ahead of them win as well.

Jaguares are on a four-game unbeaten streak and haven’t lost at home all season, while Querétaro has been inconsistent lately, with two wins in their last three, but four losses in their last six. Even the addition of Ronaldinho and the presence of joint-league-leading goalscorer Camilo Sanvezzo has not been enough for the Gallos to shine, and this could be the end of their season.

Apertura Week 17 Preview: Friday’s Games

Monarcas Morelia vs Chivas de Guadalajara – 8:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes
Monarcas Morelia (18th) has had a season to forget, to put it mildly. They have been rooted to the bottom of the table for most of the season, have just two wins, and have conceded the most goals in the league (32). They have nothing left to play for but pride; they would need to beat Chivas (17th) by five goals in order to avoid finishing in last place in the table, which is a tall order.

Chivas has also had a shockingly poor season, which has seen them drop to the penultimate place in the league table, and, more importantly, plummet in the relegation standings. They are 16th in that table and are above Puebla by just a single point. A loss here could easily see Guadalajara start the crucial Clausura 2015 campaign in last place in the Tabla de Cociente. Chivas’s has only won twice this season, with their last win coming way back in early September. In addition, Chivas hasn’t even scored a goal in their last three games. The hiring of José Manuel de la Torre as head coach hasn’t led to the turnaround Chivas was hoping for, and with relegation becoming an increasingly realistic threat, “Chepo” might not last the offseason if he fails to get a result here.

Tijuana vs León – 10:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes
Tijuana (13th) is mathematically unable to qualify for the playoffs, but they can still play spoiler for León (7th). The Xolos will look to close out a disappointing season on a positive note with a home win – which isn’t nearly as sure a thing as it would have been last season. Normally dominant in the Estadio Caliente, the Xolos have lost twice there this season, including their last home game in Jornada 15. In addition, Tijuana is winless in their last three overall.

As for León, the reigning champions are fighting to lock up a playoff berth in order to defend their title. A win would almost certainly ensure León’s place in the Liguilla, while a draw would make things dicey. Depending on other results, they could even qualify with a loss, but that would require a stunningly unlikely chain of events. La Fiera will be playing to win here, and they’re in a good run of form: León is unbeaten in their last five and has won their last two away games.

Belarus vs Mexico: Recap and Highlights

el triThe Mexican national team will be ending the year on a sour note, as they suffered a 3-2 loss to Belarus in their final game of 2014 which ended their post-World Cup unbeaten streak. Mexico put out a second-choice lineup for this one, making 10 changes to the team that defeated the Netherlands last week, but they were still favorites against 106th-ranked Belarus.

But the frigid temperatures in Barysaw, Belarus, where it was 24°F (-4°C) at kickoff clearly had an impact on El Tri, who were frozen out in the first half. But after a scoreless 45 minutes, the game burst to life in the second half with four goals in eight minutes.

Mexico took the lead in the 47th minute through Raúl Jiménez, who took down a pass from Jonathan dos Santos with his chest and then poked the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 0-1.

But Belarus would tie it up just three minutes later. Paul Aguilar was called for a foul in the box on Sergei Kislyak and Igor Stasevich stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick. Alfredo Talavera saved the spot kick, but the ball stayed in play, hitting the post and rebounding back into the box. Kislyak was first to the loose ball and fired it into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

Jiménez would quickly restore Mexico’s lead, scoring his second of the night in the 52nd minute with an assist from Giovani dos Santos, but the score wasn’t done see-sawing just yet; three minutes after Jiménez’s second goal, Nikolai Signevich scored for Belarus to make it 2-2.

After those eight crazy minutes, the game settled down. Both teams made some subs and the pace of the game slowed due to those interruptions. But both teams wanted to win. “Piojo” Herrera sent on Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández – and left on his original strike tandem of Raúl Jiménez and Gio dos Santos. That tactical shift in formation left Mexico a little light in midfield, though, and having four strikers doesn’t help if they can’t get the ball.

Just after Chicharito was subbed on, Belarus took the lead in the 80th minute. After a blocked shot, the ball fell to Pavel Nekhaichik inside the box thanks to another deflection, and he made no mistake with his finish. Since the ball had deflected off a Mexican player, there was no offside call and the goal stood, giving Belarus the lead for the first time.

And unlike Mexico, Belarus was able to hold on to the lead, staying in front through the rest of the ninety minutes and five minutes of stoppage time. With the 3-2 win, Belarus snapped their four-game winless streak while simultaneously bringing Mexico’s five-game unbeaten streak to a halt.

Highlights

Lineups

Belarus: Sergey Chernik, Igor Shitov, Aleksei Yanushkevich, Sergei Politevich, Maksim Volodko (Pavel Nekhaychik 76′), Mikhail Gordeychuk (Sergei Kryvetts 90′), Sergei Kislyak (Stanilav Dragun 60′), Ilya Aleksievich, Igor Stasevuch, Anton Putsila (Maksim Bordachev 85′), Nikolai Signevich (Timofei Kalachev 57′).

Mexico: Alfredo Talavera, Paul Aguilar, Hugo Rodríguez, Julio César Domínguez (Diego Reyes 89′), Luis Venegas, Jesús Manuel Corona (Héctor Herrera 54′), Jonathan dos Santos (Javier Hernández 80′), Arturo González (Andrés Guardado 64′), Miguel Ángel Ponce (Carlos Vela 69′), Raúl Jiménez, Giovani dos Santos.

Mexico’s Starting Lineup vs Belarus

el triMiguel Herrera has released El Tri’s starting eleven for Tuesday’s friendly match against Belarus, and it’s a much different lineup than the one that defeated the Netherlands last week.

Looking ahead to the summer, when he’ll need one team for the Copa America and another for the Gold Cup, Herrera is making 10 changes to the lineup that beat the Netherlands 2-3. Were it not for George Corral’s injury, it likely would have been 11 changes, as the only player set to make a second start is Paul Aguilar.

Alfredo Talavera will start in goal, with a five-man backline of Paul Aguilar, Hugo Rodríguez, Julio César Dominguez, Luis Venegas, and Miguel Ponce in front of him; Jesús Manuel Corona, Jonathan dos Santos, and Arturo González will line up in midfield, and Giovani dos Santos and Raúl Jiménez will be the strike tandem.

Rodríguez will be earning his first cap here, with González and Corona starting for the first time. The Dos Santos brothers will be starting together for the first time under Herrera and the third time in their national team careers.

Catch the game at 12:00 noon on Tuesday on ESPNews, Univision Deportes, and Unimás or
online via WatchESPN and Univision’s Deportes En Vivo.