Week 17 in the Liga MX has arrived to its conclusion. The top 8 teams in Mexico now move on, and the liguilla is set. Here is the full recap of the games of this week.
Morelia 1 – 2 Chivas: In the battle between the bottom 2 sides in the Liga MX, it was Chivas who broke a 13 game winless streak. For large parts of the first half, Chivas looked like a different team than the one that participated all of this season. Omar Bravo scored 2 goals in a matter of minutes, but Chivas let Morelia get back into the game with a late first-half goal. Chivas would finish the game asking for the whistle. Morelia finish bottom, and Chivas look to avoid relegation in 2015.
Tijuana 3 – 2 Leon: Some are calling it the end of an era. Leon, the champion of the last two Liga MX titles, finished this weekend with no hope of obtaining a third consecutive title. Manager Gustavo Matosas, the architect of those titles, has said that his time in Leon has arrived to an end. Tijuana jumped to an early lead against the run of play. Things got worse for Leon when one of their defenders received 2 yellow cards in a matter of minutes. Leon would equalize but Tijuana would run away with this game eventually. Mauro Boselli scored in injury time to become one of two top-scorers in this season.
Puebla 3 – 3 Santos: Puebla spoiled the party for Santos and eliminated them from any liguilla contention. It was one of the more thrilling matches of the season. Santos jumped into the lead twice, but Mexico legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco came to Puebla’s rescue. Blanco got a free-kick pass Oswaldo Sanchez, and then he scored an injury-time penalty to tie things up.
America 1 – 2 Atlas: Atlas qualified to the 2015 Copa Libertadores in style by defeating America at the Estadio Azteca. It was an interesting tactical affair despite both teams already having qualified to the liguilla. Atlas, however, had the incentive that a win would qualify them to the Copa Libertadores. Atlas jumped into the lead before Oribe Peralta equalized. Juan Carlos Medina, ex-America player, smashed the ball into the net from long distance to give the Atlas the ticket to South America’s most important competition.
Tigres 2 – 1 Toluca: Tigres was the final team to earn qualification to the 2015 Copa Libertadores. Both teams had already qualified to the liguilla, and the winner of this game would have the bragging rights of representing Mexico in the Libertadores. It was a tight affair that wasn’t determined until the very end. Damian Alvarez sent the home stadium in a frenzy when he scored a last-gasp winner.
Leones Negros 1 – 1 Cruz Azul: Cruz Azul came into the Estadio Jalisco with a legitimate chance of still entering the top 8 of the Liga MX. It wasn’t to be for Cruz Azul again. They jumped into the lead, but Marcelo Alatorre launched a powerful shot into the back of the net to steal all hope from Cruz Azul. It was a disastrous season for Cruz Azul, and now they look forward to competing in the Club World Cup.
Pachuca 1 – 0 Veracruz: Pachuca guaranteed their trip to the liguilla with a late winner against Veracruz at home. Veracruz finished this week as the only team not to score, but they had their opportunities. It was Oscar “Conejo” Perez who had an inspiring performance to deny Veracruz any chance of scoring.
Jaguares 2 – 1 Queretaro: Ronaldinho will have to wait to make his first appearance in the Liguilla. Queretaro entered this game with destiny very much in their own hands. A win would put Queretaro in the liguilla. Jaguares had little play for, already qualified to the liguilla. But Jaguares treated this game no differently, and emphasized their underdog status in the liguilla. The game did confirm, however, that Queretaro striker Camilo Sanvezzo would be the league’s golden boot winner along with Mauro Boselli.
Pumas 4 – 2 Monterrey: In one of the more exciting Pumas home games in recent times, Pumas was the last team to earn its place in the elite 8 of Mexican soccer. Pumas jumped to an early 2-0 lead with Dante Lopez scoring and a stunning shot from David Cabrera, worth looking at again. Monterrey would score their first goal before Pumas scored another one just minutes later. Candido Ramirez would score for Monterrey late in the first half to make things 3-2 at halftime. For a moment it seemed like Pumas were going to look vulnerable to blowing another game, but a clear penalty was converted by Eduardo Herrera to put Pumas in the Liguilla with the 4-2 scoreline.