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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Liga MX playoffs: Can Atlas take down rivals Chivas in QFs?

The primary Liga MX playoff weekend is now within the books! Whereas the highest 4 within the 2023 Clausura common season got byes till the quarterfinal stage, the following eight-best groups battled it out within the play-in spherical. With 4 golf equipment now out of the image, listed below are a number of speaking factors from the newest batch of play-in video games and a few ideas forward of this week’s quarterfinal matches.

No. 1 Monterrey vs. No. 13 Santos Laguna
1st leg: Might 10, 9:00 pm ET
2nd leg: Might 13, 9:06 pm ET

No. 2 Membership America vs. No. 12 Atletico San Luis
1st leg: Might 10, 11:10 pm ET
2nd leg: Might 13,1:16 pm ET

No. 3 Chivas vs. No. 9 Atlas
1st leg: Might 11 at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET
2nd leg: Might 14 at at 6:05 pm PT/9:05 pm ET

No. 4 Toluca vs No. 7 Tigres
1st leg: Might 11, 11:10 pm ET
2nd leg: Might 14, 2:00 pm ET

Ultimate Liga MX standings | Liga MX protection on ESPN Deportes
Futbol Americas on ESPN+: MLS, Liga MX, USMNT, El Tri

Final-second invite Santos knocks out champs Pachuca

Earlier than diving into all the newest Liga MX drama, we have to keep in mind that No. 13 seed Santos Laguna are fortunate to be concerned within the playoff dialog. With a spot outdoors of the highest 12 within the common season, Los Guerreros have been solely introduced into the playoffs as a result of No. 10 seed Queretaro had completed on the backside of the league’s coefficient desk (factors per sport common over the past three years).

Away in opposition to defending champs and No. 5 seed Pachuca on Saturday evening, many weren’t anticipating any surprises — however that is what occurred resulting from a stunning quantity of defensive lapses.

Because of errors on each ends of the sector and two targets from every staff in harm time, the playoff match completed 4-4 on the finish of regulation, which ensured a penalty shootout. Regardless of surviving the primary 90 minutes, the percentages nonetheless appeared grim for a Santos aspect that needed to depend on backup goalkeeper Gibran Lajud, who wasn’t in a position to do a lot to halt Pachuca’s 4 targets.

That’s till he stopped two alternatives from Pachuca within the shootout, thereby handing Santos a surprising 3-2 victory by means of penalties.

Not dangerous for a goalkeeper with simply two appearances since final 12 months.

Not too long ago stepping in for injured star goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo, Lajud is perhaps given one other likelihood on this week’s quarterfinal sequence for Santos in opposition to No. 1 seed Monterrey. The chances of Santos defeating the top-ranked Liga MX staff are extremely small, however the identical was stated about them earlier than their match in opposition to Pachuca.

Atlas sees off Cruz Azul; units Tapatío conflict with Chivas

Earlier on Saturday, No. 9 Atlas kicked off the play-in spherical with a slim however convincing 1-0 away win over No. 8 Cruz Azul. Needing lower than 90 seconds to make their mark, Atlas capitalized on a careless begin to the match for Cruz Azul by means of a aim from Brian Lozano within the second minute.

After that, it was merely sticking to counters and permitting Cruz Azul to launch plenty of photographs that didn’t hit the goal. Sitting in a compact 4-4-2 that ultimately switched to a 5-4-1 within the remaining minutes, Atlas supervisor Benjamin Mora did nicely to maintain his aspect defensively organized and likewise harmful with the turnovers they pressured from Cruz Azul.

Simply six months into his job after an atypical teaching route that took him to Malaysia from 2015 to 2022, Mora has just lately put his stamp on an Atlas aspect that are actually undefeated of their final seven Liga MX matches. The 43-year-old later praised counterpart Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti, who was named Cruz Azul boss midseason.

“The one factor I’ve is respect and admiration for his profession, I instructed him in individual,” stated Mora about Ferretti. “I did not knock him out, Atlas knocked out Cruz Azul.”

Subsequent up for Mora and Atlas: An opportunity to achieve much more plaudits by means of an attractive quarterfinal sequence in opposition to crosstown rivals Chivas this week. Sitting at third within the desk and with a four-game profitable streak, Chivas are real title-contenders that shall be a way more stern check within the upcoming two-game sequence.

Leon licking wounds after San Luis levels upset

Maybe impressed by the underdog performances on Saturday, No. 12 seed San Luis Atletico have been resilient and environment friendly in Sunday’s away match in opposition to No. 6 seed Leon.

Regardless of permitting a aim from the house staff within the third minute, San Luis roared again with three first half targets that will ultimately carry them an announcement 3-1 win. Led by a aim and help from younger Brazilian up-and-comer Vitinho and goalkeeper Andres Sanchez, San Luis appeared extremely motivated after bouncing again from their early deficit.

Trying forward, San Luis supervisor Andre Jardine is aware of issues will not be as simple in opposition to No. 2 Membership America within the quarterfinal stage.

“It is a fantastic staff, very nicely managed, having two, three spectacular tournaments in a row. A really offensive staff, maybe one of the best offense within the league,” stated Jardine about Membership America after Sunday’s end result.

As for Leon, their season is not over simply but. Though they’re now not within the Liga MX playoffs, they nonetheless have a two-legged CONCACAF Champions League remaining in opposition to MLS Cup champs LAFC on Might 31 and June 4.

Tigres survives as weekend’s solely high seed to win

Ensuring that no less than one of many favorites did not stumble within the play-in spherical, No. 7 Tigres narrowly surpassed No. 11 Puebla by means of a 1-0 house victory on Sunday evening. Following a tense begin to the sport that was scoreless within the first half, attacking midfielder Sebastian Cordova carried Tigres over the road with the eventual game-winner within the 56th minute.

Moments later, Tigres then prevented a attainable disaster. After Puebla earned a penalty within the second half, striker Diego de Buen appeared to attend for an eternity (4 minutes) on the spot whereas coping with arguments and ready for substitutions that have been being made by each groups.

Coupled with some ostentatious gestures and thoughts video games from Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman, De Buen appeared overwhelmed after sending the penalty vast of the web within the 74th minute.

Victory in hand, Tigres will now face No. 4 Toluca within the quarterfinal stage. Ought to Los Diablos Rojos earn a penalty of their very own this week in opposition to Tigres, they’re going to be capable to rely on an sudden attacking issue: goalkeeper Tiago Volpi. In April alone, the Toluca goalkeeper scored 3 times from the penalty spot. Will he get an opportunity for his fourth aim?

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