LIGA MX

What are the rules and format for the Liga MX 2021 Apertura Playoff final?

The first leg will be held at León's Nou Camp, while the second leg will be played at the Jalisco Stadium, where the new Mexican champion will be revealed.

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What are the rules and format for the Liga MX 2021 Apertura Playoff final?
ULISES RUIZ AFP

León and Atlas go head to head this weekend in the final of the Liga MX Apertura. The two-legged affair will take place on Thursday and Sunday, with the first leg at the Nou Camp, while the second leg will be played at the Jalisco Stadium, where the new Mexican champion will be revealed.

The Liga MX season is divided into two league tournaments. The Apertura ('opening') and the Clausura ('closing'). The Apertura runs from July to December and the Clausura runs from January to May.

How the two-legged Liga MX Playoff final works

If needed, extra time and penalties will define this season's champion if the aggregate scoreline remains level.

Atlas finished second in the overall 2021 Apertura standings with 29 points. León came third on goal difference and therefore the final will be held at the home of Atlas in Guadalajara.

FBL-MEX-PUMAS-ATLASAtlas's Julio Furch celebrates after scoring against Pumas during their first-leg semi-final Mexican Apertura 2021 tournament football match at Olimpico Stadium in Mexico City, on December 2, 2021. (Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP)

Head to head

Atlas and León met on matchday 10 at the Jalisco Stadium, the home of Atlas in a match the home side won 2-0 with goals from Anderson Santamaría and Diego Barbosa. The 2021 Apertura title match will be the first time that Atlas and León have met in the Liguilla. The Liguilla (playoffs) takes place after each club has played all 17 league games. The top four teams in the table automatically qualify for the playoff quarter-finals. The other four places are then decided through another mini-tournament involving the eight teams that finish between 5th and 12th place in the league.

In the semi-finals, neither of the two teams were able to win their match, advancing to the final by virtue of having a better position in the overall league standings compared to their opponents. Atlas beat Pumas on aggregate after a 1-1 draw and León defeated Tigres 3-3 on aggregate.

Atlas aiming for second championship

Atlas' preparations are underway as they look to win only the second championship in their history, having won their first in the 1950/1951 season. León, who recently won the Guardianes Apertura 2020, are aiming to for their ninth championship, which would tie them with Cruz Azul.

FBL-MEX-TIGRES-LEONLuis Quinones (R) of Tigres vies for the ball with Angel Mena (L) of Leon during the Mexican Apertura 2021 semi-final football match at Universitario Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico, on December 1, 2021. (Photo by Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP)

When is the Liga MX Apertura final?

The first leg of this year's Apertura final takes place at the home of León on December 9 at 22:00 pm US (ET) / 19:00 pm US (PT) and the second leg in Guadalajara on December 12 at 21:15pm US (ET) / 18:15 US (PT).