After the last week of the regular season, the Liguilla is finally set. Plenty of matches to look forward to as the Liga MX season embarks on the most exciting part of the season.
It all started on Friday when Chivas finished their regular season with a 1-0 win over Santos Laguna at the Estadio Corona.With both teams already qualified to the Liguilla, only two points separated Chivas from Santos, and a win would see the Rebano Sagrado overtake the Guerreros in the league table.
Both goalkeepers went largely untroubled in the first half, but Chivas looked the better side with Isaac Brizuela darting dangerously down the right wing.The second half began with the same momentum until a Carlos Izquierdoz handball led to a Chivas penalty in the 54th minute.
Carlos Alberto "Gullit" Peña stepped up, only to see his penalty saved by Agustin Marchesin. The rebound, however, rolled perfectly into his path to tap home and give Chivas the lead.
Chivas survived a late scare when Rodolfo Cota prevented and equalizer as he blocked Andres Renteria's well-struck effort, but Gullit's lone goal was enough to propel Chivas to fifth in the league table.
It wasn't until Saturday that all eight teams participating in the playoffs were determined. From the start, one spot was still up for grabs with Cruz Azul hosting Tigres at the Estadio Azul.
Both sides came into this game needing a win to grab the last playoff place, and it was the visitors who started well with Damian Alvarez forcing Jose de Jesus Corona to an early save.
It was all Tigres, however, and just minutes later, Rafael Sobis saw a a low drive from the edge of the box beat Corona to put Ricarco "Tuca" Ferretti's side into the lead. Minutes later, Andre-Pierre Gignac cut inside and tried his luck from outside the Cruz Azul area to fire home Tigres' second in spectacular fashion.
The hosts responded, and moments later, a penalty was called for a foul inside the box. Christian "Chaco" Gimenez stepped up, only to send his spot kick into Nahuel Guzman's left post.
Things went from bad to worse for Cruz Azul in the 61st minute when Joao Rojas was sent off for an aggression on Guzman.
Gignac then put a seal in Tigres' Liguilla qualification and the league's golden boot award, finishing behind the keeper from inside the area after a great through ball from Lucas Zalarayan.
The result sees Tigres set up a Clasico Regio matchup with Monterrey in the quarterfinals of the Liga MX Liguilla.
Finally, on Sunday the full Liguilla picture was completed with Pumas UNAM's 1-1 draw with Club America in the Clasico Capitalino.
Paul Aguilar handed the visitors the lead at the stroke of halftime when he turned in a header from an Osvaldo Martinez corner.
In the second half, the Universitarios pressed for a leveler with them earning a penalty in the 68th minute. Ismael Sosa stepped up, only for Hugo Gonzalez to deny the Argentine from the penalty spot.
A 1-0 win meant Club America would climb up to second and face Santos Laguna in the quarterfinals, but with just five minutes to go in the game, Matias Britos stroked home from a set-piece to set up and exciting quarterfinal matchup between Las Aguilas and Chivas.
Elsewhere, Monarcas Morelia kept their momentum going into the playoffs with a 2-1 win at Veracruz. League leaders Monterrey suffered a shock home defeat to Toluca in Jose Saturnino Cardozo's last game in charge of the Diablos Rojos. Pachuca beat Chiapas 2-1, and Dorados de Sinaloa waved goodbye to Liga MX with a 1-0 defeat to Leon.
Clausura 2016 Quarterfinals
Here we go. It doesn't get better than these quarterfinal matchups pic.twitter.com/0YSMAHYptx— Mexicanfut (@mexicanfutcom) May 8, 2016
Goal of the week: Andre-Pierre Gignac