clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Liga MX Week 15 Roundup: Club America and Santos Laguna clinch playoff spots

Saul Gonzalez/LatinContent/Getty Images

The Liga MX Liguilla picture is a lot clearer now as two more teams clinched their place in the playoffs. Take a look at what happened in Week 15 of Liga MX.

One team that is still fighting for a playoff spot is Pumas UNAM. The Universitarios climbed up to eighth in the league table with a 3-1 win over Xolos de Tijuana at Ciudad Universitaria on Friday.

Pumas clearly had one eye on their South American meeting against Deportivo Tachira, but it didn't stop them from taking the lead at the stroke of halftime when Dante Lopez slid in to meet Fidel Martinez's pass and finished through Federico Vilar.

But Miguel Herrera's side could hardly have asked for a better start to the second half, and Dayro Moreno steered home from a great Juan Carlos Nunez through ball to put things at 1-1.

Pumas, however, had been growing increasingly into the game and looking for some heroics off the bench, introducing Matias Britos, Eduardo Herrera, and Ismael Sosa. In the 76th minute, a Javier Cortes shot was parried away from Federico Vilar, only for Britos to fire home from the rebound to haul Pumas back into the lead.

Then with four minutes to go in the game, Ismael Sosa sealed it for Pumas when he escaped down the right, played a one-two with Fidel Martinez, and tapped in a left footed shot from close range to give the hosts the maximum points.

Meanwhile, it was a bittersweet afternoon for Club America as they fell 1-0 to Toluca at the Estadio Azteca but clinched a place in the Liguilla.

Both sides had their eyes set on their big midweek clashes, with Toluca visiting Sao Paulo in the Copa Libertadores knockout phase and Club America hosting Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League final return leg.

Erbin Trejo netted three minutes from halftime after the midfielder found himself with space to rifle home from distance.

Ignacio Ambriz's side then set about trying to find the equalizer, with Rubens Sambueza and Dario Benedetto coming closest to equalize in the second half, but the Diablos Rojos held on to a vital three points away from home.

The other team joining Las Aguilas in the Liguilla is Santos Laguna. Luis Zubeldia's side sealed a place in the playoffs with a 2-1 win over Tigres, which completed a miserable week for the current Liga MX champions.

The Guerreros made their breakthrough in the 23rd minute when Tigres' defense allowed Bryan Rabello to fire in behind Nahuel Guzman.

But the champion's leveler came early in the second half as Juninho headed home from a Rafael Sobis corner.

In the 76th minute, a Hugo Ayala handball inside the area resulted in a penalty. Nestor Calderon stepped up and converted to give the Guerreros the lead with 13 minutes still to go.

Efforts from Andre-Pierre Gignac and Guido Pizarro followed, but Santos held on to their third straight victory of the season.

The defeat means Tigres slip to ninth in the league table, and next, the Liga MX champions pay a visit to Club America in the return leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final after losing 2-0 in the first leg.

Finally, Chivas denied Pachuca all three points in an exciting 1-1 draw at the Estadio Hidalgo.

The Tuzos took the lead just after the break with a simple finish from Rodolfo Pizarro after a great run from Hirving Lozano.

But Chivas, who had showed their attacking intent throughout the first half, equalized ten minutes later. U.S. international Omar Gonzalez was called for a foul inside the box, and Carlos Alberto "Gullit" Peña converted from the resulting penalty kick to equalize for the visitors.

In the 78th minute Jesus "Chapo" Sanchez was sent off for Chivas, and moments later, Stefan Medina hit the left post with a right footed shot before he, too, was sent off for Pachuca.

It was a game where the woodwork was the protagonist, though, and Chivas came close to grabbing all three points as Gullit rattled the woodwork a second time at the death.

With the result, Chivas maintained themselves sixth in the league table, while Pachuca will clinch a place in the Liguilla with a point in their two remaining games.

Elsewhere, Monterrey survived a late scare from Queretaro to clinch the top seed in the Liga MX playoffs with a 3-2 win. Cruz Azul continue their incredible decline as they fell 2-1 to Copa MX champions Veracruz to slip out of a playoff position. Relegated Dorados de Sinaloa shocked Monarcas Morelia by beating Enrique Meza's side 1-0. Lastly, Mauro Boselli earned Leon a late point against struggling Atlas at the Estadio Jalisco.

Goal of the week: Carlos Sanchez