We are one final round away before the Liga MX Apertura 2018 transitions to the playoffs and this only leaves eight teams standing. The league prior to the sixteenth round saw a very close race to have a defined top eight teams with the fourth through sixth place teams and the eighth through tenth place teams being tied in points. The results of the sixteenth round brought much clarity in a concrete strong eight teams, moreover, specifically with the first through fifth place teams being guaranteed a spot in the top eight teams who will transition to the playoffs of the league.
These teams consist of Club Cruz Azul, America, Pumas, Santos Laguna, and Monterey. Having said that, this does not mean these teams will be playing safely, since now they will be fighting for a better position in the playoffs. The sixteenth round saw many teams move up the leaderboard but as well as saw a few go down. Prior to the sixteenth round of the league, the eighth through tenth place teams were tied in points, and this round proved to be critical in securing them a spot within the playoffs. Beginning with Club Pachuca, the soccer club was set to faceoff with Club Atlas with unfortunately for Pachuca, ultimately ended in a draw with the score being zero to zero. This saw Club Pachuca knocked out of the top eight bracket and move down a single position on the leaderboard, with now being in ninth place with 23 points.
This leaves Club Pachuca in a quite the predicament, in which the team will only pass with a loss from Club Monarcas who is currently in eighth place. Club Monarca, who was in ninth place prior to the sixteenth round, faced off against Club Xolos, in where they were able to secure a win with the score being two to three in Club Monarcas favor. This elevated them up the leaderboard and are currently within the top eight, being in eight place with twenty-five points. Club Monarcas currently is in a really vulnerable position, with the next game in the seventeenth round playing a critical role in whether they stay within the top eight or not. Club Toluca saw itself go down the leaderboard by two positions, with it formerly being in fifth place. Toluca faced off against Club Pumas, a strong team within the league. The game ended zero to one with Pumas winning.
This left Toluca in an unfavorable position with Toluca going down two positions as well as being let with twenty six points. Toluca is not quite safe however, with Monarcas with a win can easily take the seventh place spot from them. Lastly, Club Tigres performed exceptionally well within this round. Club Tigres was set to face off against Club Puebla, and the game ended in a dominant win with the score being six to one in Club Tigres’s favor. This saw Club Tigres move up the leaderboard by a single position and land in sixth place, currently being tied with Club Toluca with twenty-six points. However, due to the amount of goals made within the sixteenth round by Tigres we see them surpass Toluca with goal differences. As the seventeenth round approaches we see the sixth through tenth place teams still continuing to fight to stay within the leagues top eight. The seventeenth round of the Liga MX Apertura 2018 begins with Club Cruz Azul facing off with Club Morelia at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. This last round will prove to be critical in determining the final top eight teams as well as the bracket for the games to be played within the playoffs. Most of the pressure is on the sixth through tenth place teams as they battle to stay or make it within the top eight teams.