The Liga MX, Apertura Tournament 2023 is coming to an end. The most consistent teams in the tournament have reached the final stretch in search of a new star. The Liguilla is now being assembled with 6 classified teams, however, they are waiting for 2 teams that will emerge from the Play-In duels.
Atlético San Luis against León and Santos against Mazatlán are the two Play In matches that will be played this Thursday to meet the last two teams that will play in the quarterfinals of the Mexican Apertura-2023 tournament.
HOW IS PLAY IN PLAYED, LIGA MX?
Until the last Clausura-2023 tournament, in Mexican soccer four playoffs were played – one game – with the teams that finished in fifth to twelfth place in the regular phase.
But since this Apertura tournament, those four playoffs were replaced by three series – also one-match – called Play In to meet the seventh and eighth qualifiers for the quarterfinals.
The six teams that advanced directly were América, Monterrey, Tigres, Pumas, Guadalajara and Puebla.
WHEN DOES THE 2023 OPENING LEAGUE START?
At the moment, two quarterfinal ties are defined: Pumas-Gudalajara and Tigres-Puebla; The rivals from América and Monterrey will leave the Play In.
The Play In Series A will be played by the seventh and eighth, Atlético San Luis and León, respectively, at the Alfonso Lastras stadium, home of Atlético. In the regular phase these teams faced each other in this scenario and the local team won 3-0.
“We had the goal of finishing in the top six, in the end we didn’t achieve it and we finished in seventh,” said Brazilian Gustavo Leal, technical director of Atlético, and, faced with the obligation to win against León, he commented that “the confidence of the team has not gone down; “In these types of games we cannot throw a single minute away.”
At home, Atlético San Luis played nine games in the regular phase, of which they won five, tied one and lost three.
For its part, León had eight games as a visitor and its balance was two draws and six losses.
The winner of this Play In will be the seventh classified to the quarterfinals and will face Monterrey.
Mazatlán gives visiting problems
The Corona stadium will host the Play In Series B in which Santos, who finished in ninth place, and Mazatlán, who was tenth, will face each other.
In the regular phase, Mazatlán received Santos at the El Encanto stadium and beat them 3-1.
“It’s going to be tough, Mazatlán beat us at home,” recalled Duván Vergara, Santos’ Colombian attacker, “but the goal is to be among the eight best and fight for the title, because there is something to do so.”
Santos has just played nine games at home, with five wins, one draw and three losses.
Mazatlán played eight away games, obtaining two wins, two draws and four losses.
The winner of this Play In will play the weekend against the loser of the other tie. The winner of this third matchup will be the eighth team in the quarterfinals and will face América.
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