Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Mexico: Play-Off octet decided

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on April 27, 2010
Víctor Manuel Vucetich

Víctor Manuel Vucetich has led his Monterrey team to the top of the regular season standings

Mexico’s Torneo Bicentenario has reached the end of the regular season and eight teams have qualified for the knockout stage after seventeen gruelling matches. Monterrey CF, who won the Torneo Apertura which constituted the first half of the season, had the best record out of all eighteen teams who, in turn, were split into three distinct groups. “Stoppage Time – International Football Blog” reviews the group standings and looks forward to the play-offs:

GROUP 1 (Guadalajara 17 games/32 points; Toluca 17/30; Atlas 17/24; Querétaro 17/21; Ciudad Juárez 17/15; San Luis 17/14)

Guadalajara topped the group by just two points from Toluca with both teams easily among the best eight in the country. Guadalajara, more commonly known as Chivas, were already assured the top spot in the group as they began the final round of matches four points ahead of their nearest challengers. They ended their campaign against CONCACAF Champions League finalists Cruz Azul with a 1-1 draw whilst Toluca finished with a flourish thanks to a 2-1 over Puebla. Third place Atlas had the tenth best record out of all the teams and, alas, failed to qualify for the next stage.

GROUP 2 (Monterrey 17/36; Club América 17/25; Morelia 17/25; Pachuca 17/25; Chiapas 17/19; Puebla 17/19)

Monterrey coach Víctor Manuel Vucetich has already led his team to the Torneo Apertura this season and his team’s chances of completing a double title triumph are good seeing as they finished the regular season with the best record, therefore guaranteeing themselves the number one seeding for the play-offs. They completed the regular season with a 1-1 draw to third place Morelia who were tied on twenty five points in Group 2 along with Club América and CONCACAF Champions League finalists Pachuca, all of whom qualifed for the play-offs by virtue of having a better goal difference than Cruz Azul from Group 3 who also finished on 25 points after seventeen games.

GROUP 3 (UNAM 17/28; Santos Laguna 17/28; Cruz Azul 17/25; Estudiantes Tecos 17/19; Tigres 17/19; Atlante 17/17)

Both of the top two teams in this group could afford to lose their final round of matches as they had already sealed their place in the top eight teams. UNAM, also known as Pumas, lost 2-0 away at Ciudad Juárez whilst Santos Laguna lost 1-0 away at Club América, a result which guaranteed the home side’s passage into the play-offs. Cruz Azul, who currently lead 2-1 after the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final against Pachuca, needed to win to guarantee themselves a place in the Bicentenario play-offs but were thwarted by Chivas Guadalajara who held them to a 1-1 draw. The two points dropped by Cruz Azul meant that they lost out on a place in the last eight by virtue of having an inferior goal difference to Club América, Morelia and Pachuca.

PLAY-OFF QUARTER-FINALS

Monterrey CF v Pachuca CF

Guadalajara v Morelia

Toluca v Club América

UNAM v Santos Laguna

1st Leg – May 1/2; 2nd Leg – May 8/9

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