Toluca bowed out of the Liguilla race as the Diablos Rojos suffered a 2-1 defeat to Santos Laguna in their final game of the regular season.
Hernan Cristante’s side went into this game needing a win to seal their place in the Liguilla, but the game was tilted in Santos Laguna’s favor in the 27th minute when Carlos Izquierdoz headed home from a Walter Sandoval corner.
The game saw Toluca improve in the second half, and their best chance of equalizing fell to Pablo Barrientos when he sent a right-footed shot just wide of Agustin Marchesin’s goal.
And Santos Laguna made the hosts pay when Jonathan Rodriguez tapped home from a breakaway to double their lead.
In the 88th minute, Maikon Leite pulled a goal back for the Diablos Rojos, but all hope looked lost as the final whistle meant Toluca were eliminated from Liguilla contention.
The result meant good news for Club Leon, who sealed their place in the quarterfinals with Toluca’s defeat.
Santos Laguna defeated Chiapas 2-0 in their penultimate game of the Liga MX 2016 Apertura. Two early goals in the second-half by Walter Sandoval and Ulises Davila was enough for the home-side to pick up all three points.
Both sides created a number of chances in the first half but weren’t clinical enough to put them away. Chiapas’ best chance came following a good break down the right-hand side. A cross was put into a dangerous area but Nestor Araujo was on hand to slide in and clear the ball just wide of his goal.
Jonathan Rodriguez squandered a good chance for the opener for the hosts. The Uruguayan striker was through on goal and dragged his effort wide of the mark as Ulises Davila was in the box waiting for the square ball. Davila himself missed a great chance to take the lead in the opening stages of the game. Davila found space in the box before firing at goal but his low effort just missed the target.
The home-side took the lead just two minutes after the restart through a great volley from Walter Sandoval. Djaniny got in behind the defense down the right-hand side and crossed it to the edge of the box to the young Mexican midfielder, who controlled the ball on his chest and lashed home a volley through the legs of Juan Patino and into the bottom corner.
Santos Laguna doubled their lead just five minutes later through another good finish from outside the area. Diego De La Torre lost the ball in the midfield to Ulises Davila, who raced towards goal and curled a left-footed effort into the bottom corner out of the reach of Oscar Jimenez in the Chiapas goal.
Davila nearly grabbed his second and the hosts third of the game in the 67th minute with an effort from outside the area but the ball rolled inches wide of the post with Jimenez rooted to the spot.
Santos Laguna held on to the victory and picked up their third win of the season. The game had little meaning as both sides were unable to qualify for the Liguilla stages, with Chiapas sitting bottom of the table and the hosts remaining in 16th even after the win.
Club America bounced back from their midweek Copa MX elimination to Chivas with a comfortable 3-1 win over Santos Laguna that puts them one step closer to the Liguilla.
Silvio Romero opened the scoring in the ninth minute after a penalty was called for a Nestor Araujo foul on Renato Ibarra.
But Santos Laguna made things interesting in the 33rd minute when Djaniny Tavares appeared unmarked to head home a Walter Sandoval free kick.
Santos’ joy didn’t last very long, and eight minutes later, Michael Arroyo regained Las Aguilas the lead following a superb Renato Ibarra breakaway.
In the second half, Rubens Sambueza sealed America’s win when he took care of his own rebounded shot to fire past Agustin Marchesin for the 3-1.
The win keeps Club America fifth in the league table and within touching distance of the Liguilla. Next, they take on Atlas a the Estadio Jalisco, while Santos Laguna play their final home game of the season against bottom of the table Chiapas.
Atlas came from behind to deny Santos Laguna only their third win of the season after a 2-2 draw at the Estadio Corona.
Candido Ramirez scored the breakthrough in the 38th minute to give the Rojinegros the lead.
The hosts, though, hit back almost immediately when Carlos Izquierdoz dipped a header past Oscar Ustari from a corner.
It was a similar story in the second half when Izquierdoz headed home his second of the game to give Santos Laguna the lead.
The goal galvanized the visitors as they went in search of an equalizer, and they would get their reward in the final minute of the game. A player who came off the bench, Atlas forward Edson Rivera, headed in a Daniel Alvarez free-kick to earn Atlas a late point.
The result leaves Atlas within three points of eighth place Leon with three games remaining, and next, they will visit the champions Pachuca at the Estadio Hidalgo.
Meanwhile, Santos Laguna will visit Club America at the Estadio Azteca in one of their last two visits of the season.
A Franco Jara double allowed Pachuca to cruise to a 3-0 victory over Santos Laguna at the Estadio Hidalgo.
It did not take long for the hosts to capitalize on their early dominance and they opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Hirving Lozano picked out Franco Jara inside the box, and the former Benfica forward headed home to give Pachuca the lead.
In the second half, Santos Laguna desperately looked for a way back into the game, but it was Pachuca who kept dominating possession. In the 55th minute they doubled their lead when Franco Jara scored a second through a superb volley.
Things immediately went from bad to worse for the visitors when moments later a penalty was called for a foul on Hirving Lozano. Juan Caicedo received his marching orders as Lozano stepped up, smashing the ball past a despairing Agustin Marchesin.
The Tuzos then would see out the rest of the match comfortably to move to second in the league table.
Pachuca next visit Olimpia in action of the CONCACAF Champions League, while Santos Laguna host Atlas at the Estadio Corona.