Liga MX Tres Puntos: Leon's surge continues as Liguilla approaches
Liga MX Week 15 is in the books and just two matchdays remain as teams attempt to qualify for the eight-team Liguilla.
League leaders Club America dropped points for the second straight week thanks to a scoreless draw against Chivas in El Super Clasico, while Leon was able to jump into playoff contention with a 4-0 shellacking of Atlas.
Last-place Monarcas Morelia scored a surprising win against Monterrey in the opening match of the weekend. After giving up an own goal just before half, Morelia regrouped and scored two second-half goals -- capped off by a 74th minute score from Jose Hibert Ruiz off of a corner kick -- to complete the improbable comeback.
While there was good news for Morelia, the bad news continued for Pumas UNAM, who finished the weekend with a scoreless draw against Veracruz as they remain winless at home.
There was also bad news for Tijuana, who were dealt a devastating blow to their playoff hopes courtesy of a 1-0 loss to Toluca.
Here are Tres Puntos from the latest league action in Mexico and an updated look at the league table:
|6||Jaguares de Chiapas||5||7||3||20||18||+2||22|
|17||Chivas de Guadalajara||2||6||6||11||18||-7||12|
Red Hot Leon Continue To Surge
Just a few weeks ago, defending champions Leon appeared to be on a path that would leave them on the outside looking in when it was time for Liguilla to begin. However, the team has been trending in the right direction and is now poised to reach the postseason on a red hot streak. Since Week 12, Leon has yet to taste defeat and they now find themselves in eighth place with just two matches to go.
The most recent win for La Fiera was a 4-0 beatdown of Atlas, who entered Matchday 15 as the second-place team in the Apertura.
Leon finishes out the final two weeks of the Apertura against two teams currently outside of the top eight -- No. 15 Puebla and No. 13 Tijuana. With a strong finish, Leon could enter Liguilla as one of the favorites with a real shot at defending their Apertura crown.
La Fiera has the most potent offense in Liga MX, with 27 goals.
Will Ronaldinho's Queretaro fall short of Liguilla?
With just two matchdays pending, Ronaldinho and Queretaro sit three points out of the playoffs.
Queretaro has lost four of their last five matches, with the only win coming over Liga MX leaders Club America. The good news for Queretaro is that they have a match against last-place Morelia in Week 16, before capping off the season against Jaguares de Chiapas. Chiapas, who sit in sixth place, will be a difficult out for Ronaldinho and company, but it could prove to be a match the club must win if they want to avoid disappointment after making a splash earlier in the Apertura when they brought in the Brazilian star.
Falling short of the playoffs would be a major letdown for Queretaro, but it remains a real possibility.
Club America fails to impress in El Super Clasico
The highlight of Matchday 15 was El Super Clasico between Club America and Chivas Guadalajara. The match brought one of the sports' biggest rivalries to the forefront of the soccer world over the weekend, but neither team was able to come away with three points as they played to a scoreless draw.
The result was especially disappointing for Club America. Entering the match, it appeared that America would be able to run away with a win, but when the two clubs were on the pitch it looked like anything but a No. 1 team against a No. 17 team.
Chivas was able to keep the match close, despite losing Jair Pereira in the 23rd minute. America also benefited from a missed call which would have given Chivas a penalty opportunity
America did threaten more, especially in the second half, but their inability to find the back of the net and secure a win over their rivals had to be disappointing for Antonio Mohamed and the faithful at Estadio Azteca.
Player of the Week: Mauro Boselli, Leon
As defending Clausura and Apertura champions Leon continue their red hot streak as they charge for a spot in the postseason, Mauro Boselli scored twice to help the club in their 4-0 win over Atlas.
The two goals for Boselli move the 29-year-old Argentinean into the lead as Liga MX's top goal-scorer with 11.
Camilo Sanvezzo of Queretaro, with 10 goals, is the only other player in double-digits in the Apertura.
Boselli kicked off the scoring for La Fiera in the 8th minute by converting a penalty.
Boselli's second goal came in the 59th minute as he found the top right corner from close range.
Paul Arriola (Tijuana) - Arriola made his first Liga MX appearance for Xolos since Daniel Guzman took over the club in September.
Edgar Castillo (Atlas) - Castillo drew the start and played all 90 minutes for Atlas, as they qualified for Liguilla, despite a 4-0 loss to Leon. Castillo gave up a crucial turnover in the final 25 minutes of the match which led to Leon's final goal.
Joe Corona (Tijuana) - Corona is out of action with a foot injury.
Greg Garza (Tijuana) - Garza drew the start in Tijuana's 1-0 loss to Toluca and he was partially to blame for the only goal of the match.
Hérculez Gómez (Tigres UANL) - Gomez earned the start, but played just 45 minutes in Tigres' 1-0 win over Queretaro.
Michael Orozco (Puebla) - Orozco played all 90 minutes in Puebla's 1-1 draw with Pachuca.
José Francisco Torres (Tigres UANL) - Torres started for Tigres in their 1-0, but raised some eyebrows in the 90th minute when he was subbed off and appeared to be shaken up. Torres does not appear to have a serious injury.
Mexico Odds and Ends
Michael Orozco helped Puebla reach the Copa MX finals, where La Franja will face Santos Laguna ... Carlos Vela has accepted a call up to El Tri for two November friendlies ... Goal.com's Tom Marshall urges Mexico fans to err on the side of caution regarding Vela's call up ... Could Guillermo Ochoa be trying to find his way out of his current Malaga contract? ... Chicharito has bought a nice new crib in Madrid ... Miguel Herrera doesn't know why Jurgen Klinsmann is up for Coach of the Year.