Here are some of the main takeaways from the fifteenth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Apertura.
Pumas’s Liguilla dreams take a hit after Querétaro defeat
Nobody was expecting Pumas to fight for the title, but a spot in the Liguilla was always a feasible object. Well, 15 weeks into the season and it looks Pumas might be missing out. The Universitarios were thumped 3-0 to Querétaro on Saturday, leaving them three points off eighth place Xolos de Tijuana and with just three games left to play in the regular season.
The Pumas front office has been a mess, and most recently, their president Rodrigo Ares de Parga announced his eventual departure from the club in the upcoming month of December. The on the field product hasn’t been great either, and following a second straight defeat, coach Michel is starting to feel the pressure.
San Luis part ways with Gustavo Matosas after corruption scandal
Gustavo Matosas made headlines a few weeks ago after claiming he was “bored” of coaching the Costa Rica National Team. This week Matosas was back to making headlines and for all the wrong reasons. Evidently, an audio of Matosas and his agent accepting a kickback for a transfer of a player was leaked to Mexican media, something which according to FIFA rules is illegal and can get you suspended for five years.
During his pregame conference against León, Matosas decided to avoid the subject altogether, but this was before his team lost 3-2 to La Fiera a day later. Atletico San Luis then subsequently released a statement confirming the firing of Matosas but failed to mention if this was due to bad results or the scandal itself. One thing is for certain, however, he is definitely not bored now.
Club América hope to build momentum after Puebla win
Like many, this season for Las Águilas has been full of inconsistency. To put things into perspective, Club América haven’t won consecutive games since the start of the season. But Miguel Herrera’s men have a really good chance of doing just that after beating Puebla 2-0 on Saturday to return to winning ways. Prior to said match, Las Águilas had just one win in their last nine matches across all competitions.
Perhaps most importantly, Club América also enjoyed the return of striker Nico Castillo, who wasted no time to get back to scoring. With players coming back from injury and a schedule that includes a bye week and matches against San Luis and Veracruz, there is no better time for Las Águilas to string a few wins together and enter the Liguilla in positive form.
Cruz Azul do Cruz Azul things
For a moment there it seemed like Cruz Azul were going to stay alive in the race for the Liguilla, but a last-minute Andre-Pierre Gignac goal ruined the party for La Máquina.
Truth be told, Tigres were the better team here and were unlucky not to get a goal go their way after it appeared the ball had crossed the line completely. But as fate would have it, Cruz Azul would do another one of their famous “cruazuleadas” and Gignac scored when it mattered most to put Los Felinos leveled. Now, with the result Cruz Azul find themselves needing a miracle to make the Liguilla, and with games against León and Santos Laguna coming up next, this might have been the end of the line for La Máquina.
Chivas finally win away from home
It took a ten-man FC Juárez for Chivas to return to the winning column away from home, but it finally happened. The last registered win for Chivas away from home in Liga MX was in January, making it more than nine months without a win for the Rebaño away from the Estadio Akron. The win also came in emphatic fashion thanks to a very late “Chofis” Lopez goal after Chivas had equalized early in the second half.
Of course, the bad news here is that the win comes too little too late for Chivas. All the buzz on the lead up to this match was about Ricardo Pelaez’s appointment as sporting director, but that is obviously thinking more in the long term as opposed to the short term. For now, Pelaez has some planning to do if he hopes to see Chivas back next season fighting for a spot in the Liguilla.