Liga MX playoffs – Club America, Atlas, Tigres, Pachuca book final four sports

 Liga MX playoffs – Club America, Atlas, Tigres, Pachuca book final four sports

The Liga MX semifinals are officially set! The quarterfinal round of the Liga MX playoffs is over, leaving four teams in the running for the 2022 Clausura title. If you’ve missed any of the latest action, here are four speaking points from the quarterfinals and some thoughts ahead of this week’s two-leg semifinal games.

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Club America rode into a hot semis series

About two months later, No. 4 Club America seeds died at the end of the MX League table. Now, they are the story back in time. After an unbeaten run in their last 10 games, The Eagles has now qualified for the semifinal round under interim manager Fernando Ortiz.

It was a strange revival, but after defeating No. 5 seed Puebla 4-3 aggregate in the quarterfinals, much of the conversation about the team revolves around decisions made by officiating Club America’s latest result on Saturday.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg on Wednesday, referee Fernando Guerrero was criticized by the media and fans in the second leg for overlooking a possible red for Alejandro Zendejas at Club America and for allowing of the Mexico City team to recover a penalty at 3 on Saturday. -2 wins against Puebla.

After allegedly stopping his line on the first penalty attempt he saved, Puebla goalkeeper Antony Silva agreed to a goal from Diego Valdes of Club America from a second period. Silva took to social media, urging administrators not to “destroy” the game through these decisions, and included images of his foot on the line on the first penalty.

As such, Valdes has yet to contact the ball in the images provided, and if replays are reviewed this season, it looks like Silva has somewhat lost his line, thus underscoring that the decision to retract the penalty is likely right. As for the possible red for the Zendejas, Club America could be lucky to have the undoubted challenge from FC Dallas ’academic product, which will go on to score their third of the game.

Right or wrong from Guerrero, any and all of the referee’s decisions in the upcoming semifinal series between Club America and No. 1 seed Pachuca is placed under the microscope. With that in mind, Club America still has a lot of momentum under Ortiz and could be a tougher challenge for a Pachuca side that won’t be fully convincing in their own quarterfinals series.

Atlas stopped Chivas, staying on the recurring title course

Like Club America, there seems to be a similar rejuvenation that makes No. 6 seed Chivas in Guadalajara. With interim manager Ricardo Cadena leading the way, The Rojiblancos advanced to the quarterfinals with five straight wins, including Pumas ’dominant 4-1 defeat in the play-in round of Liguilla.

That momentum came to a halt last week when they faced current title holders and rivals at crosstown Atlas. In the first leg on Thursday at Estadio Akron in Chivas, 21-year-old Atlas midfielder Jeremy Marquez led the No. 1 spot. 3 seed to 2-1 fight win with two goals in the result. In the second leg on Sunday, things went from bad to worse for Chivas in the first half which included an injury to starting goalkeeper Miguel “Wacho” Jimenez, two shots hitting the tree, and a goal from Atlas ’Anibal Chala just before halftime.

There was little hope for Chivas after Atlas Marquez got red in the 70th minute, but because of the higher seed tiebreaker, they had to score at least three times in the second half. Chivas ’Jose Juan Macias’ lone goal, which would end the game at 1-1, was not enough to balance the overall result that ended 3-2 in Atlas ’advantage.

Next up for Atlas in their pursuit of back-to-back titles: A semifinal series against No. 2 seed Tigres. Atlas will lose Marquez who was suspended in the first leg, and especially despite their place in the semis, with no goal or assist from their front two Julian Quiñones and Julio Furch in their last three games. .

The tigers survived the battle of Cruz Azul

The second best part of the regular season in the MX League had some questions hanging over Tigres ’heads.

Against No. 8 seed Cruz Azul, the Tigres had the most nervous and anxious finish of the semifinalists, who clinched the next round in the aggregate 1-1 and escaped as the taller seed.

In the fight leg on Thursday, the Tigres 1-0 win was a bitter victory that showed direct cards not only for manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera, but also for winger Nico “Diente” Lopez. During the second leg on Sunday, the reds count will continue another for left wing Javier Aquino before halftime. Cruz Azul manager Juan Reynoso, who briefly hid the ball from the Tigres during the throw-in, was also shown in red.

Cruz Azul was not with their manager, but at the very least, they had a one-man advantage and a 1-0 lead (1-1 on aggregate) in the second half after Christian Tabo scored in the 19th minute. The two sides exchanged a few shots in the final 45 minutes, but with goalkeepers Nahuel Guzman and Sebastian Jurado rising to the net, it was the Tigres who finally got a semifinal ticket thanks to finishing higher than Cruz Azul on the league table.

“It’s disgusting that didn’t happen in the aggregate, but if you all do an analysis, surely in possession and in statistics, we were superior in the attack,” Cruz Azul assistant coach Jaime Serna said in the post-game.

Thanks to some numbers from TruMedia/StatsPerform, the Tigres actually finished with more shots (21) and a higher xG of 1.56 compared to Cruz Azul’s 0.72. In possession, Cruz Azul finished higher with 58.1%.

Despite these statistics being more in favor of the Tigres, they haven’t found the back of the net and will likely have to score more than once in two games if they hope to beat Atlas in the semis.

Pachuca showed why they are the leading team

Going into the playoffs, there is a lot to like about league leaders Pachuca. As not only the same top scorers in the regular season, but also the combined best defense when it comes to goals allowed, The Tuzos expected to pass No. 8 seed San Luis.

Even if Pachuca continues to win 5-4 on aggregate, San Luis has made the series a surprisingly tight one and created problems for the favorites in their direct style of play. Leveling at 2-2 after Wednesday’s leg fight, Pachuca’s occasional defensive miss continued into the home leg on Saturday, which ended in a tight 3-2 victory.

“The important thing is to correct [our problems]strengthen the things we did well, “Pachuca manager Guillermo Almada said after the game.” Above all, to regain our defensive security. “

The good news for the first place team’s regular season-aside from the higher seeding that was the first tiebreaker in the quarterfinals and semifinals-is that star striker Nicolas Ibañez looks likely to be able to play any role. possible cracks.

The 27-year-old Argentine is in best form with four goals in his last two playoff appearances. It should also be noted that the last time Pachuca faced Club America, Ibañez needed just 28 minutes at the Estadio Azteca to score in a final 3-1 victory. Club America is a completely different side from the one that lacked enthusiasm earlier this year, but the striker must also be a maker of difference.

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