Which teams have qualified for Liga MX Apertura 2023 playoff quarter-finals?
As things stand, a quartet of Liga MX teams have made certain of qualification for the Apertura 2023 playoffs proper.
As the Apertura 2023 regular season approaches its conclusion, four Liga MX teams have so far made sure of their place in the playoffs proper.
Who is definitely in the Apertura 2023 quarter-finals?
Club América, who beat Tijuana 3-0 on matchday 16 on Saturday, have been certain of their quarter-final berth for a couple of games now. André Jardine’s men guaranteed themselves a last-eight place by beating Monterrey 3-0 at the end of October, and in midweek clinched top spot in the regular-season table.
América’s win this weekend was their seventh in a row in the Apertura 2023, taking them to 39 points for the tournament - a club record for a 17-game regular season. The 13-time Mexican champions now face Tigres in the final round of fixtures - and have the chance to establish the highest ever points total since the league phase was shortened from 19 to 17 games.
That record is currently held by Club León and Cruz Azul, who racked up 41 regular-season points in the Clausura 2019 and Clausura 2021 tournaments, respectively.
Tigres, who are the defending Liga MX champions, have now joined América in the quarter-finals, their 2-2 draw with Atlético San Luis on Saturday giving them an unassailable, seven-point lead over seventh-placed Pumas.
Eight-time league winners Tigres are bidding to become the fourth club to win back-to-back Mexican titles since the Liga MX introduced the short-tournament format in 1996.
Meanwhile, Monterrey and Chivas Guadalajara also booked their last-eight berths this weekend. Rayados beat Pachuca to ensure they remain in the hunt for a sixth domestic championship, while Chivas’ pursuit of title No. 13 is still on course after they saw off Cruz Azul.
How does Apertura 2023 playoff qualification work?
In an amended Liga MX format brought in for the Apertura 2023, the top six teams in the regular-season standings qualify automatically for the playoff quarter-finals, while the sides finishing seventh to 10th will have to negotiate a play-in round to make it into the postseason proper.
As things stand, the four teams already through to the last eight will be joined by San Luis and Tijuana, who sit fifth and sixth, respectively.
However, they can still be overtaken by a group of teams just behind them. Most notably, Pumas and Toluca both have the opportunity to leapfrog the pair when they play their matchday-16 fixtures on Sunday.
Pumas, Toluca, León and Mazatlán currently occupy the play-in spots, but Puebla, Pachuca, Juárez, Santos Laguna, Cruz Azul, Atlas ans Querétaro all remain within reach. Indeed, it’s still mathematically possible for Tijuana and Santos to sneak into the top six and claim automatic quarter-final qualification.
When does the Apertura 2023 regular season finish?
After matchday 16 is completed this weekend, Monterrey host Santos Laguna in a rescheduled matchday-10 clash on Wednesday 8 November. Following that midweek game, the regular season comes to a close when matchday 17 is played on Friday 10, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November.