Liga MX Power Rankings: Cruz Azul back on top after derby win over Pumas

MEXICO CITY — We’re two games away from finding out who will be competing for the Mexican league title. Though some teams have emerged from the pack as true contenders, including Copa MX winners and new league leaders Cruz Azul, there’s still plenty of time for dark horses to slip in and make their case as the regular season winds down. Here are the Power Rankings for Week 15:

Latest Liga MX standings | Schedule | Latest Playoff Picture

1. CRUZ AZUL

Record: 9W-3D-3L
Week 14 ranking:4

The secret to Cruz Azul’s success this season has been simply their ability to deny teams scoring opportunities week in and week out. Through 15 games, they’ve allowed just 12 goals thus far, good for first in the Liga MX. The league leaders have not seen a goal get past Jesus Corona in the last 344 minutes.

2. CLUB AMERICA

Record: 8W-5D-2L
Week 14 ranking: 1

On the flip side, Club America has relied on outscoring opponents this season — their 28 goals lead the league. They possess the best goal differential in the competition and have the least amount of losses in the entire division with just two.

3. SANTOS LAGUNA

Record: 8W-4D-3L
Week 14 ranking: 2

Though they lost this weekend to a scrappy Queretaro side, Santos will have a golden opportunity to recoup a higher spot in the league table when they host Club America next weekend. The Estadio Corona has been a fortress for Chava Reyes’ team this season, as they have yet to lose there with one game remaining in the regular season.

4. PUMAS UNAM

Record: 7W-5D-3L
Week 14 ranking: 3

Pumas’ loss this Sunday to visitors Cruz Azul snapped an eight-game streak and the opportunity to cement a postseason berth. It’s looking more and more like Pumas have to settle for a low seed come the quarterfinals, as they face arguably the toughest remaining schedule against Toluca and Santos.

5. MONTERREY

Record: 8W-2D-5L
Week 14 ranking: 5

Monterrey has lost only once at home this season (to Chivas back in September), but the team’s inability to close out title deciders at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer (as was the case last week against Cruz Azul in the Copa MX final) has many thinking it would be best for the team to go on the road for second legs in the playoffs. The bad news? Monterrey hasn’t won an away game in the league since August 22.

6. TOLUCA

Record: 8W-2D-5L
Week 14 ranking: 6

No team has been more punished by refs than Toluca, and they’ll have to adjust for yet another banishing next weekend, as Osvaldo Gonzalez racked up a yellow card accumulation penalty on Saturday. Discipline will be an issue for this team as it tries to repeat last season’s showing of making the final.

7. UANL TIGRES

Record: 6W-5D-4L
Week 14 ranking: 7

Andre-Pierre Gignac has scored ten goals this season, bringing his total with Tigres to a lofty total of 79 since joining the team in 2015. During a somewhat low-key regular season for his team, Gignac will once again be the focal point of a squad looking to continue grabbing trophies in the undisputed golden era of its history.

8. MORELIA

Record: 6W-4D-5L
Week 14 ranking: 9

Twenty-six percent of possession is what Morelia managed against Tigres last week. The main reason was Gabriel Achiller’s early first-half red card, which significantly changed things and pushed the home team into preservation mode. Morelia completed 226 passes in the 2-0 loss. Tigres, on the other hand, passed it a grand total of 667 times.

9. QUERETARO

Record: 6W-4D-5L
Week 14 ranking: 8

Of all the prospective playoff teams this season, no team has scored less goals than Queretaro. They do, however, make their limited amount of scores count to the fullest, as they pulled out an impressive 2-1 win over Santos Laguna on Sunday. Will it be enough to get them deep into the playoffs? Conventional wisdom says no.

10. PACHUCA

Record: 5W-4D-5L
Week 14 ranking: 11

Of Pachuca’s 25 goals this season, 17 have been scored by Victor Guzman (who scored four over the weekend) and Franco Jara. The unlikely duo of out-and-out striker and central midfielder can still carry this team into the playoffs with two games left, and their remaining schedule (Atlas and Leon) suggests they’ll be able to add six points to their tally.

11. PUEBLA

Record: 5W-4D-6L
Week 14 ranking: 14

Despite grabbing a late draw against Chivas, this was really Puebla’s last great chance to make a run towards the playoffs. Next week, they’ll face Tigres in a do-or-die match that will define their postseason hopes once and for all. The bad news? They’ve only defeated Tigres once since 2015.

12. LOBOS BUAP

Record: 4W-4D-7L
Week 14 ranking: 13

During their six-match undefeated run, Lobos BUAP has outscored opposition 12 goals to seven, dating back to late September. Leo Ramos scored six of those goals. If this team wants to keep its run going against Cruz Azul and Toluca, they’ll need more production from the Argentine goal poacher.

13. CHIVAS

Record: 4W-5D-6L
Week 14 ranking: 12

Chivas has won just one game since the end of August. Regardless, they still have a minute mathematical chance at making the postseason. Even if they can beat Leon next weekend, they’ll have to get through Tigres in the season’s last match day to have any chance of sneaking in.

14. LEON

Record: 5W-2D-8L
Week 14 ranking: 14

It’s been feast or famine for Leon’s offense this season: they’ve been shut out seven times in the Apertura 2018, but they’ve also scored four goals on two separate occasions in the semester. Should they beat Chivas and Pachuca to close the season out, they’d still need help from others to get in.

15. NECAXA

Record: 3W-4D-8L
Week 14 ranking: 15

Twice this season, Necaxa has allowed an opponent to score five or more goals. This time it was Pachuca, who crammed six past them in a rout. The final result overshadowed the fact Necaxa dominated possession throughout the game, as well as plenty of chances in front of goal.

16. ATLAS

Record: 2W-4D-9L
Week 14 ranking: 17

Officially eliminated from the Liguilla, Atlas’ drought without a championship will enter its 68th year come January. It remains to be seen whether Rafa Marquez’s regime as a team executive can help the squad be a contender in the future.

17. CLUB TIJUANA

Record: 4W-4D-7L
Week 14 ranking: 16

Tijuana pulled the plug on Diego Cocca’s era at the helm of the team with three games remaining, but the larger cause behind Xolos’ demise has been the constant upheaval of the club’s roster. Regardless of who is managing the team in 2019, solidifying the team’s talent level has to be a priority.

18. VERACRUZ

Record: 2W-3D-10L
Week 14 ranking: 18

Tickets for Veracruz’s home game against Queretaro next week will be handed out for free. Sums up how the season has gone for Los Tiburones.

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Article source: http://www.espnfc.com/mexican-liga-bbva-bancomer/22/blog/post/3690876/liga-mx-power-rankings-cruz-azul-follow-cup-title-with-win

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