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LIGA MX

What do América need to clinch top spot in Apertura 2023 regular season?

On Wednesday, Club América face Atlético San Luis in a Liga MX Apertura 2023 clash that could see Las Águilas guarantee the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Update:
On Wednesday, Club América face Atlético San Luis in a Liga MX Apertura 2023 clash that could see Las Águilas guarantee the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
Armando ArorizoEFE

Club América can seal top spot in the Apertura 2023 regular-season table on Wednesday, when they take on Atlético San Luis on matchday 15.

What results do América need?

América will be crowned league-phase champions if they beat San Luis and second-placed Tigres either draw or lose against Tijuana.

Tigres, who are the Liga MX title holders, sit five points behind Las Águilas with three games still to play in the regular season.

San Luis vs América kicks off at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramírez at 11pm ET, while Tijuana vs Tigres is scheduled to start at the Estadio Caliente at 11:06pm ET.

América have quarter-final spot tied down

América have already made sure of a top-six finish in the Apertura 2023 regular-season standings, meaning they are guaranteed automatic qualification for the postseason quarter-finals.

After beating Monterrey 3-0 on matchday 14 on Saturday, André Jardine’s men head into their clash with San Luis lying an unassailable 12 points clear of seventh-placed Toluca.

América beat Monterrey at the weekend to make sure of a playoff quarter-final place.
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América beat Monterrey at the weekend to make sure of a playoff quarter-final place. Miguel SierraEFE

Record points haul in the offing?

With 33 points currently to their name, América will finish with 42 points if they win their final three games in the regular season. This would be just shy of the Liga MX-record points haul that they themselves hold in the short-tournament era: their 43-point regular season in the Apertura 2002.

However, they racked up that unmatched total at a time when Liga MX clubs played 19 games over the course of a regular season.

The highest ever points haul since the league phase was shortened to its current 17-game format is Club León and Cruz Azul’s 41 in the Clausura 2019 and Clausura 2021, respectively. América therefore remain within reach of that record.

In addition, the 13-time Mexican champions will equal their club record of 13 victories in a single regular season - also set in the Apertura 2002 - if they win their three remaining matches.

What are the benefits of topping the Apertura 2023 table?

The chief advantage of qualifying for the Liga MX playoffs as regular-season champions is that the top seed is paired with the postseason’s lowest-ranked team in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

And in addition to being guaranteed a theoretically easier tie, the No. 1 seed also benefits from a Liga MX rule that gives the higher-ranked team in each tie a say over kick-off times.

Per the league’s regulations, the higher seed in each pairing chooses when both legs are played in the quarter-finals, and picks the kick-off time of their home leg at the semi-final and final stage.

Beware the ‘curse of the superlíder’

It should be noted, though, that the winners of the regular season haven’t often gone on to win the Liga MX since the biannual short-tournament format was introduced in 1996.

Indeed, the ‘superlíder’ has only been crowned champions in the playoffs nine times over the past 27 years.