La Liga MX is one of soccer’s weirdest and most fun tournaments and that’s why we love it. This season’s playoffs did not disappoint, and with four teams fighting for the Clausura 2015 title, Las Chivas – who spent most of this year trying to avoid relegation – might actually come out on top as champs. Here’s why we think they stand a chance.
None of the Favorites Are Alive
La Liga MX playoffs are a two game series played by the eight top-ranked teams. It’s pretty common for the top team to be eliminated by the lowest-ranked team in the quarterfinals, but this is the first season that ALL the top teams (#1,2,3,4) are already out, leaving Chivas (#5) as the highest-ranked team alive.
They've Got Momentum
Las Chivas were the only team to dominate their opponent in the quarterfinals. With an impresionante 4-1 win over Atlas, Chivas’ victory completely overshadowed the other teams advancing.
Santos won a very boring series against Tigres, with neither team playing particularly well.
Queretaro qualified to the playoffs with a penalty kick that Ronaldinho almost missed. Their way to the semifinals was just as rocky, and they only advanced thanks to two terrible mistakes by Veracruz’ goalie Meliton Hernandez during the 2nd leg game. The goal that put them in the semis was also Ronaldinho’s; a cross that slipped embarrassingly through the goalie’s hands. Jogo Bonito might be out, but Ronaldinho’s magia appears to be in.
Pachuca is the other team with good momentum. Pachuca and América took part in the most exciting quarterfinals series of La Liguilla. And although it was a very good victory for the Hidalguenses, they were out of the tournament until the last minute of the 2nd leg game, when they were awarded a penalty that some saw as controversial.
Marco Fabian is Killing It
After the 1st leg game, Atlas coach Tomas Boy stated that Marco Fabian didn’t score any more goals. The Tapatío responded by scoring a “fuck you” hat-trick in the 2nd leg game. All the goals were amazing, and Marco Fabian seems to be escaping the title of “promise” and becoming a reality.
Chepo de la Torre
Chepo had an important career as a soccer player on teams such as Chivas, Cruz Azul, Real Oviedo in Spain, and even the Mexican National Team. After his retirement as a player, he developed a successful managerial career, winning titles with Toluca, Chivas, and the Gold Cup with Mexico. It is not surprising that Portuguese Santos coach Caixinha has referred to him as the most prepared coach in Mexico.
Chepo arrived to Chivas earlier this season with the objective of saving the team from the dreaded relegation, but he might just come back with with something better, La Liga MX Clausura 2015 title. Chiva’s last championship was under Chepo almost 10 years ago; talk about overachieving.