Last Sunday, the Mexican Apertura came to its close and we now have the final eight teams that seek their way to the championship. The Quarter finals will be played this weekend with the final teams being: Guadalajara, Cruz Azul, Tigres, Santos, Jaguares, Pachuca, Morelia and surprisingly, Queretaro.
I know I said in my previous Mexican League articles that there was to be a summary after every round; however, I got caught up in massive amounts of homework, preventing me from doing any work or writing for the past couple of weeks. So today, I present to you a quick overview of this year's tournament.
The best team throughout the whole tournament was Chivas de Guadalajara who had a record of 8-6-3. They defeated team after team easily, only suffering three loses. Of course, this is to my misfortune as I absolutely hate this team. Nonetheless, they got their work done and look to one-up América yet again, seeking their 12th championship in the league's history.
Another team that practically dominated the tournament was Cruz Azul who totaled a record of 8-5-4. They got second overall just by a mere point. Their last game against América was a victory in which they hope to elevate their spirits against Morelia. Will they capture a title? Only time can tell and see how this squad plays in their next games.
In third place was Tigres. They won a total of seven games, tied seven and only lost three. That's really impressive for a team that doesn't have a star-studded lineup. Obviously, their defense was great with the addition of international player, Carlos Salcido. If he and his defensive line can continue their great, consistent play, then they should be in great hands.
And the last team in this slide happens to be Santos with a record of 8-3-6. They obviously weren't the best team and player rather sloppy sometimes; yet, they got the job done and most of it can be credited to rising star Oribe Perlata. Oswaldo Sanchez seems in great form as he looks for yet another title to add to his belt.
In fifth place comes Jaguares de Chiapas with an okay record of 7-5-5. I can't say too much about Jaguares since I've practically only seen them play once or twice in the tournament. Yet, they look for a championship that they haven't had in a very long time.
Coming in sixth happens to be Pachuca. Their record is the same as Jaguares yet they looked much better than they did. New to the team this tournament was forward Enrique Esqueda, who made an immediate impact. He comes from scoring two goals against the leader, Chivas. Of course, with a veteran goalie and a solid defensive line, Pachuca seems in great contention for the championship.
In seventh place, Morelia, has the equivalent record to the two prior teams. Again, I did not watch this team to give out enough background information; however, I do know what a beast Miguel Sabah can be and he obviously will be one of Morelia's X-factors.
And the last in contention for this Apertura's title happens to be Queretaro (8-2-7). It's everyone's surprise that they made the quarter finals for the first time in their history. If anyone recalls a couple of year's back, they were an easy team to beat and were a team to be relegated constantly. Now, it's seem that they are rising and it'll be interesting how they face up against Chivas. Of course, it'll be a David vs. Goliath series.
UNAM Pumas (7-4-6): Last year's champions were one point away from making the final eight. I witnessed their last play of the season which was a horrible corner. They collapsed at times so it doesn't really look like they would have done well in the quarter finals.
San Luis (6-6-5): Another team I did not see a lot, San Luis didn't make the cut by three points. Who knows how they would have done.
Monterrey (7-3-7): Humberto Suazo did not play too much this year as the team would have hoped for; he's obviously their best striker so that made an impact on the team.
Puebla (6-4-7): The first team with more losses that victories, Puebla, yet again, was a team I did not witness too often. It must be extremely disappointing for a club that made the cut last year.
Toluca (4-8-5): They had the second most ties throughout every team. They actually had a shot, at times, to make it to the quarter finals. But they failed to deliver, causing their elimination.
Atlante (5-4-8): This is where it begins to go bad for teams. They actually looked decent at times but again collapsed and could not deliver. What I really noticed from this team was Cristian Bermudez, who looks like a rising, short star.
Club Tijuana (3-9-5): Not that bad for their first time in the First Division, Tijuana will either go back down or will be mediocre at best. Unless they can get solid backup, then they can improve themselves like Queretaro.
Estudiantes Tecos (6-0-11): It's rather odd when you see a team that never tied throughout 17 games but it was either win or loss for Tecos. A team that has been struggling in the past doesn't seem to get any better unless they can acquire talent.
América (3-6-8): Amazing. Absolutely amazing. A team so prestigious comes out second to last. You see the picture on the left? Yeah, those are the thousands of Américanistas who pay hard-earned money to see them fail. Well, it looks as if the staff is going to make huge moves because they put every single player up for grabs whether it's Christian "Chucho" Benitez or some 20-year-old we've never heard of. It's time to focus and get that 11th title.
Atlas (2-6-9): The worst team overall was Atlas. And yet again, I present no knowledge for this team. Well, why should I? They only won two games. The other team from Guadalajara placed first while this one placed dead last.
Top Goal Scorers:
10. Luis Gabriel Rey from Chiapas with seven goals in 16 games.
9. Hérculez Gómez from Estudiantes with seven goals in 16 games.
8. Alfredo Moreno from San Luis with seven goals in 14 games.
7. Marco Fabian from Chivas with eight goals in 17 games.
6. Enrique Esqueda from Pachuca with eight goals in 17 games.
5. Jackson Mártinez from Chiapas with eight goals in 15 games.
4. Christian Benítez from América with eight goals in 15 games.
3. Carlos Bueno from Queretaro with 10 goals in 16 games.
2. Oribe Perlata from Santos with 10 goals in 13 games.
1. Iván Alonso from Toluca with 11 goals in 17 games.
10. Edgar Andrade from Chiapas with three assists in 17 games.
9. Mauro Cejas from Pachuca with three assists in 17 games.
8. Rubens Sambueza from Estudiantes with three assists in 16 games.
7. Alberto Medina from Chivas with three assists in 16 games.
6. Christian Benítez from América with three assists in 15 games.
5. Franco Arizala from Chiapas with three assists in 15 games.
4. Christain Suárez from Santos with three assists in 15 games.
3. Christian Bermúdez from Atlante with four assists in 17 games.
2. Rodrigo Ruiz from Estudiantes with four assists in 15 games.
1. Javier Aquino from Cruz Azul with six assists in 15 games.
The first match will be between Queretaro and Chivas this Saturday and the first round will conclude with Tigres and Pachuca on Sunday, November 27th. So here are my predictions:
Chivas vs. Queretaro- Obviously, I gotta go with Chivas. They are the best team this tournament and I doubt they'll be eliminated in the first round. Nonetheless, Queretaro will put up a great fight and they should leave happy and accomplished rather than disappointed.
Cruz Azul vs. Morelia- This one is appealing because have two teams that have a rather intense past. It'll be interesting to see if a fight breaks out but let's not hope for the worst! I'm going to go with Cruz Azul, who will dominate this series.
Santos vs. Jaguares- I really don't expect to much to go on in this series. In reality I got nothing to say. Santos moves up!
Tigres vs. Pachuca- I'm not sure exactly how this will go down but I will say one thing: Esqueda will show up. He'll be the difference maker in this series, scoring at least three goals. He really has something to prove and I'm going to go with Pachuca. This will possibly be best the series in the first round.
Well, obviously, the only way to find out what goes down is to watch. Thanks for the read!