Week 16 in the Mexican top flight is now in the books. In the last round of fixtures, Liga MX featured a strong performance from top-placed Pachuca, interim managers continued their revival of league giants Chivas and Club America, and decisive results secured playoff invitations. playoffs.
In case you missed something, here are three talking points and some additional notes on Jornada 16 de la Clausura 2022.
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Club America and Chivas thrive under interim coaches
Sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need. The two most successful and popular teams in Liga MX, Club America and Chivas, each enjoyed a revival in Clausura 2022 under an interim manager.
With Santiago Solari released in early March by Club America, Las Aguilas quickly rose from the bottom of the table to fifth with the Phil Jackson-inspired Fernando Ortiz at the controls. On Saturday, their remarkable 2-0 away win against the Tigres marked their sixth successive Liga MX victory.
“It shows that there is a team, that there is unity, camaraderie and commitment. It shows that they have understood the situation,” Ortiz said after the Club America victory. this week-end.
Later that night in Guadalajara, Chivas maintained his perfect streak under new coach Ricardo Cadena. Stepping in as caretaker manager earlier this month following Marcelo Michel Leano’s dismissal, Cadena secured a 3-1 win over Pumas — his third win in as many matches.
Guided by a goal and an assist from Alexis Vega on Saturday, Chivas moved up to seventh in the standings after sitting in 14th place just a few weeks ago.
“Things are looking up for us and we have to take advantage of the moment,” Chivas Jesus winger Ricardo Angulo said after the final whistle.
Chivas and Club America have both officially booked their playoff spot, and depending on how things go over the coming final week of the regular season, it’s possible that Ortiz and Cadena will face off in the next round. of the round of jokers.
Mexico summons Chavez for Pachuca
Few, if any, Liga MX players have had a better week than Pachuca’s Luis Chavez. After being called up for the Mexico national team on Thursday, the 26-year-old midfielder then responded two days later with his first-ever brace in Pachuca’s 3-0 win over Monterrey.
With the former Club Tijuana player’s two goals, Pachuca secured their third consecutive victory and retained the top spot in the Liga MX standings.
¡Gooooooooooooool de los @tuzos! 😎
Pero qué golazo de Luis Chávez que le pegó con un tube y la puso en el ángulo. Work of art in el Hidalgo. 👏
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) April 23, 2022
Chavez, who has already been called up to the national team but has yet to earn any minutes, is now in good position to make his Mexico debut in a friendly against Guatemala on Wednesday. Well balanced but also gifted for powerful shots from distance, the midfielder will be one to watch Sorting this week.
As for Pachuca, the Tuzos are in fantastic shape. Despite some tension through scuffles outside the stadium that led to seven arrests on Saturday, things look incredibly promising for the side who have just cemented their place as the No.1 seed for the La Liga playoffs. MX.
That said, manager Guillermo Almada insists he isn’t looking ahead with one more game on their regular season schedule.
“We have to close the season well in the best way, then we will think about another completely different competition,” Almada asked about the playoffs.
The playoff picture is starting to take shape
A brief summary of the structure of the Liga MX playoffs: the top four in the standings will automatically qualify for the quarter-finals, while places five to 12 will enter a preliminary wildcard (repeche) round.
With Clausura a week away from the end of the regular season, the first Pachuca and the second Tigers have already booked their place for the quarter-finals. Puebla, Atlas, Club America, Cruz Azul, Chivas, Monterrey, Necaxa and San Luis have all officially qualified for the playoffs, but it remains to be seen whether they will make the quarter-finals or the wildcards stage.
Then there’s a purgatory-like group of Leon, Pumas, Mazatlan, Toluca, Santos and Tijuana who are in the hunt for the playoffs but have yet to guarantee a top-12 position. That leaves Queretaro behind 17th place and FC 18th. Juarez, who are the only two teams officially out of the playoffs.
A three-point difference separates third-placed Puebla and 11th-placed Leon, leaving huge leeway for the final weekend of the Liga MX regular season.
– Elsewhere in the Liga MX results: An error by Puebla goalkeeper Antony Silva gave Necaxa a 1-0 away win; a brace from Brian Rubio pushed Mazatlan to a 2-0 victory over FC Juarez; holders Atlas bounced back into the top 4 of the Liga MX table with a 4-2 away win against Toluca; Cruz Azul stumbled at home with a 1-0 loss to San Luis; an Eduardo Aguirre equalizer helped save a 1-1 draw for Santos Laguna against Leon; and Club Tijuana let a 2-0 lead crumble in their 2-2 draw at home to Querétaro.
– Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman warmed up before the game against Club America in an all-black shirt that read “Justice” on it. A day earlier, a missing 18-year-old law student, Debanhi Escobar, was found dead in the Nuevo Leon area after she went missing weeks ago. It was the latest tragedy in a string of disappearances of missing women, prompting protesters to take to the streets of Monterrey to decry gender-based violence and failed investigations. This year alone, 26 women and girls have gone missing in Nuevo Leon, and five more have been found dead after being reported missing.
—Marc Crosas (@marccrosas) April 23, 2022
– The CONCACAF Champions League returns this week with the highly anticipated two-legged final between Liga MX’s Pumas and MLS’s Seattle Sounders. The Pumas will host the first leg in Mexico City this Wednesday before traveling to Seattle for the return leg on May 4.
– To end the Liga MX recap on a heartwarming note, here is the story of a young Chivas fan named Uriel with Marfan Syndrome, who was at Chivas-Pumas this weekend. Uriel was invited as a special guest to the game and got to meet his favorite player, Alexis Vega, before the game. Vega assured him of victory and said he would dedicate a goal to him. In the 11th minute, Vega scored and then pointed at Uriel in the stands during his celebration. Vega also tweeted: “Uriel, you are a champion.”