América beat Puebla to secure Apertura 2022 regular-season top spot
After a 2-1 victory over Puebla on Friday, Club América are guaranteed to be top seeds in the Liga MX Apertura 2022 playoffs.
It’s been a dream regular season for Club América. Las Águilas may have begun the Apertura 2022 tournament languishing at the wrong end of the table, but once they sparked into life, they charged to the top of the standings, winning a club-record nine games in a row to dominate the league phase.
Win over Puebla rubber-stamps top-seed status
Friday’s victory over Puebla, which was their 11th win in their last 12 Liga MX games, confirmed América as regular-season champions - and as top seeds in the playoffs, which begin on 8 October.
Despite having Monterrey breathing down their necks going into the final round of games - Rayados began matchday 17 just one point behind the leaders - América withstood the pressure to beat Puebla 2-1 at the Estadio Cuauhtémoc, courtesy of goals by Roger Martínez and Álvaro Fidalgo.
As the number-one seed in the playoffs, Fernando Ortiz’s men will be given a quarter-final tie against the lowest-ranked club to emerge from the postseason’s eight-team preliminary round, known as the repechaje.
Apertura 2022 playoffs: key dates
When did América last win the Liga MX regular season?
América had not led the table at the end of the regular season since the Apertura 2014, a tournament in which they went on to be crowned Mexican champions. Los Azul-Cremas were also league-phase top dogs in the Apertura 2013, but finished as runners-up after losing to León in the final of the playoffs.
América were leaders in the 2005 Apertura, only to be eliminated in the quarter-finals, and advanced to the postseason as table-toppers in the Verano 2001 and Verano 1997 championships, reaching the semi-finals and quarter-finals, respectively.