Here are your five conclusions from the thirteenth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Clausura.
Cruz Azul are back in the frame of things
Cruz Azul has had its critics this season, but La Máquina suddenly finds itself fourth in the league standings with 22 points. On Saturday, Pedro Caixinha’s team notched their six straight Liga MX game without a defeat, cruising to a 3-0 win over Querétaro.
Slowly but surely, Cruz Azul is showing again that they will be a threat to any team they face in the Liguilla. La Máquina is closing on its desired level of play, and perhaps surprisingly, they have also been doing quite well offensively. Particularly, Milton Caragalio who has scored in three straight games and was responsible for scoring the 10,000th goal in the Estadio Azteca’s history over the weekend.
Up next for Caraglio and Cruz Azul is none other than Club América.
Club León continue making history
Club León started the season going winless in their first three games but have since gone on a historic run of ten straight victories. Their latest win was a 2-1 triumph over Necaxa, which leveled the record for most consecutive wins in a single Mexican league tournament.
La Fiera have found goals in large numbers and have scored at least two goals in nine of their ten victories. On the verge of history, they continue to take attention away from Club América and the two teams from Monterrey, and are poised to be a stern for any team in the Liguilla.
Chivas’ season looks just about over
Any flicker of hope Chivas had of making the Liguilla seems to have disappeared by losing 1-0 to Lobos BUAP on Saturday. Chivas needed to a win to stay within a game of eighth place Pachuca, but instead it was the team from Puebla that got the win.
The Rebaño Sagrado was put on the ropes late in the first half when Alexis Vega was sent off for a clumsy challenge on an opposing player. Lobos then proceeded to score late in the second half to dismantle any Chivas hopes of getting their first win in six games.
Frustration was clearly a factor here for Chivas, as evidenced by Vegas’s red card and scenes of Jesus Molina in tears on the bench. With four games left in the regular season, it’s going to take something special to see Chivas in the Liguilla, and odds are they will be watching it on the television like the rest of us.
Tijuana snatch victory over América
Xolos de Tijuana twice came from a goal down to deny Club América a significant victory as they defeated Las Águilas 3-2 at the Estadio Caliente. Though the VAR was a topic of discussion at the end of the game, Miguel Herrera’s men ended the game with good reason to be aggrieved by the final scoreline. Despite numerous absences across the pitch, América showcased the depth the team has this season, and they outplayed the home side through large stretches of the match.
Of course, this doesn’t take anything away from Tijuana, who underlined just how much they have improved under Oscar Pareja. The former FC Dallas manager clearly knows that there is still a lot of work left to do, and he didn’t seem carried away at the end of the match. It’s a pretty clear sign that this teams is in the right hands and is capable enough of complicating life for just about any team, even when they are not at their best.
La Volpe’s Toluca demolishes Monterrey
Toluca did to Monterrey what Los Rayados did to Sporting Kansas City in the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday, demolishing the Regiomontanos 5-1 at the Estadio Nemesio Diez.
Until this win, nobody was really talking about Toluca being a potential Liguilla team, but the Diablos Rojos are clearly in the map again after such a stunning win over one of the league’s favorites. Toluca’s improvement upon Ricardo Antonio La Volpe’s arrival in Week 10 has been gradual, but the team is clearly displaying an increase in bite and desire on the offensive end.
The Diablos Rojos will still need to win about three of their remaining four games to make the Liguilla, but this will, no doubt, serve as a good boost ahead of the business end of the regular season.