Here your five conclusions from the eleventh and thirteenth week of play in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura.
Toluca make good use of home stand
Unusual as it might be, Toluca have not left their home stadium since September 10 against Santos Laguna. On Thursday, the Diablos Rojos played their fourth straight home game of the season, taking on Liga MX newcomers Lobos BUAP. Toluca have gradually become one of the most consistent sides in Mexico under Hernan Cristante, and with goals from Alexis Canelo, Osvaldo Gonzalez and Alexis Vega managed to win their sixth game of the season to move to fourth in the league table. In total, Toluca earned three wins out of their four consecutive home games, their only defeat coming to Club America.
Club America take the Clásico Joven
Barring a potential Clásico Joven in the Liguilla, this was the last Club America vs Cruz Azul game at the Estadio Azul until the stadium is demolished later this year. It was not meant to be for Paco Jemez’s men as the Cementeros fell 3-1 to las Aguilas on Saturday. For Miguel Herrera’s men, it remains to do with their attacking players. Silvio Romero was once again brilliant dropping outside the box without the ball, and Carlos Darwin Quintero is playing some of his best fútbol in a long time. The end result was two assists for Romero and a goal for Darwin Quintero as Club America remain second behind league leaders Monterrey with 23 points.
Monterrey can taste the Liguilla
Speaking of the league leaders, if you take into account the fact that 25 points has been enough to qualify to all of the previous Liguillas, then Monterrey virtually sealed a place in this season’s Liguilla with a 2-0 win over Pachuca. With the win, the Rayados now have 27 points, and while they aren’t officially in just yet, it is hard to see how they don’t make it. Once again, it was Monterrey’s attacking trio of Dorlan Pabon, Rogelio Funes Mori, and Avilés Hurtado that made all the difference against a Pachuca team that is close to missing out on their second consecutive Liguilla.
Leon stay hot to move to third
The hottest team in Liga MX isn’t Club America or Monterrey, it is Leon. If you blinked, you likely missed the fact that Leon is now all the way up to third in the league table with 22 points. La Fiera have been on a roll since Gustavo Diaz took over the team and have accumulated a total of six straight wins in all competitions. Their latest victim was Tigres, who once again had a terrible game away from home. Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s men have just one win in their last nine games away from the Estadio Universitario. Of course, that is no fault of Leon who are quietly lighting up Liga MX and becoming one of the best teams in Mexico.
Chivas’ season essentially over
At this stage of the season, it is safe to say Chivas’ league campaign is essentially over. With nine points and sitting in 16th, only a miracle would help Chivas reach the Liguilla now. On Saturday, the defending champions shot themselves on the foot when in the final moments of the game Carlos Salcido comically scored an own goal to give Chivas yet another home defeat, this time to Monarcas Morelia. If there is one play this season that captures perfectly how misfortunate Chivas have been throughout this Apertura 2017 campaign, it is that one. With the season now over, Chivas goal will be to at least give their fans some joy in this upcoming week’s Clásico Nacional against Club America.