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Liga MX Apertura 2023: how many teams qualify for the Liguilla and what is the ‘play-in’?

The new Apertura 2023 season will see a series of modifications relating to the postseason as now only the top 10 teams are involved as opposed to 12.

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Last May at a Liga MX ownners assembly, Mexican soccer leaders approved a partial restructuring of the Liga MX competition system. It was decreed that from the 2023 Apertura, the first six places in the general table will advance to the liguilla playoffs. The next four teams will be involved in a ‘play-in’ system as has been used in the past years in the NBA to determine the final teams of the octet.

This will see games between the 7th against 8th and 9th vs 10th in the final table. The winner of the contest between 7th and 8th will advance to the playoffs and the loser will face in a second and definitive duel against the winner of the clash in the 9th vs. 10th placed game.

Apertura 2023: key dates

The Apertura 2023 kicks-off this Friday (30 June) as América face Bravos de Juárez at the Estadio Azteca. The last date of the regular phase is scheduled for Sunday, 12 November. The first legs of the play-in will be staged on the 22nd and 23rd of the same month and the final games will be on the 25th and 26th.

The two legged quarter-finals will take place on 29 and 30 November with the second legs scheduled for 2 and 3 December. The semi-final series will start on 6 and 7 December and will finish on 9 and 10 December. The first leg of the Apertura 2023 final will take place on 14 December and the champion will be decided after the second leg on 17 December.