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Although there are still two game weeks remaining we now have a conclusive answer to the question of which side will be playing their football in the Ascenso MX in August and which sides have survived to live on in the Liga MX.
Liga MX Relegation Round-Up: All Over for Atlante After Dramatic Weekend
04/15/2014
 
Santos 4-3 Atlante

Although there are still two game weeks remaining we now have a conclusive answer to the question of which side will be playing their football in the Ascenso MX in August and which sides have survived to live on in the Liga MX.


AS IT STOOD


Round 14 saw two relegation rivals lock horns as Puebla traveled to Guadalajara to do battle with Atlas. The game finished 0-0, a result indicative of the tension surrounding match, with both sides more concerned about not losing than actually winning.


Veracruz played an away tie against Morelia and came away with an important point after the game finished 1-1. The ‘Tiburones Rojos’ took the lead just after half time, but had to play with ten men for the final thirty minutes following Oscar Mascorro’s red card – allowing Morelia to snatch an equalizer with ten minutes to go.


Atlante lost 2-0 to Tigres in Cancun in the final game of the weekend. The hosts rarely threatened their opponents and were undone by a brace from Alan Pulido.


The results meant that if Atlante lost their Round 15 match and Veracruz managed to get at least a point from their own game, Atlante would be relegated.


Relegation Table – Thursday 10th April

POS TEAM     A-11 C-12 A-12 C-13 A-13 C-14 POINTS GAMES COEFFICIENT

14 Veracruz  0             0         0        0        20      14          34          31            1.0968

15 Chiapas    24         12       15     16       25      16        108         99            1.0909

16 Atlas          12         20       12     32       12      18        106         99            1.0707

17 Puebla      22         19       13     19       19      12         104        99            1.0505

18 Atlante     19         16       20     13       12      18          98          99            0.9899



ROUND FOURTEEN ACTION


Atlas opened the weekend’s action with a trip to the slowly improving Queretaro. After a nine game streak in which The ‘Gallos Blancos’ only won one match, a 2-0 win over Tigres at the Estadio Universitario in Round 12 rejuvenated the club, who then managed to pick up ten points from four matches. Atlas went into the match knowing they only needed a point to ensure their safety, regardless of the Atlante result.


Queretaro won the game 1-0, but after a total of 39 shots between the two sides it was surprising the scoreline wasn’t higher. New signing Camilo Sanvezzo scored the only goal after 70 minutes, heading home Diego de la Torre’s corner. It was the Brazilian’s second goal in two games.


Saturday’s early game saw Veracruz host Pumas UNAM. Pumas are chasing what would have been considered an unlikely playoff berth in January. Veracruz have failed to replicate their 2013 Apertura form and find themselves seventeenth in the general table, just above relegation rivals Puebla.


The game finished 1-1, though Veracruz were much the better side for long periods of the game. They took the lead after twenty minutes through Alfredo Moreno, but were pegged back with Pumas’ first shot of the game in the 51st minute – with Van Rankin getting the goal. There was late drama as Pumas’ Marco Palacios was sent off with quarter of an hour left, but Veracruz couldn’t take advantage of their extra man to grab a winner.


Following the Veracruz game, Puebla kicked off against Club America in the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. The ‘Aguilas’ have struggled with consistency throughout 2014 as they slowly adapt to Mohamed’s new coaching methods. They headed into the match needing to earn the three points to dispel doubts about their ability to claim a playoff spot.


The game was far from a classic, as America took a 1-0 win thanks to Miguel Layun’s second minute strike. Puebla rarely threatened, and after Uriel Álvarez Rivera was dismissed for the hosts after 61 minutes they never looked like being able to score the elusive equalizer.


The three previous results meant Atlante’s game against Santos in Torreon on Sunday became a do-or-die affair for the visitors. A win would leave them three points behind Puebla with two games still to play, and would also mean Veracruz could still be caught. Defeat would make Veracruz safe and would leave the Cancun side six points behind The ‘Camoteros’ and with an insurmountable goal difference that would be a minimum of 28 worse than their rival’s.


Atlante fought valiantly but lost 4-3. When Santos sprung into a 2-0 lead inside the first half an hour thanks to a brace from Carlos Darwin Quintero the game looked over. After Michael Arroyo missed a second half penalty Atlante’s heads dropped still further, yet Angel Sepúlveda Sánchez’s pulled it back to 2-1 to give them hope. When Jose Abella Fanjul made it 3-1 with ten minutes to go once again the game looked over, but a late flurry saw Madrigal score twice for the visitors either side of a third for Quintero to leave the final score at 4-3.


The final whistle brought tears to the Atlante players as the reality of their future dawned on them. Consoling hugs from the Santos players could not appease their pain, and the club will now play in the Ascenso MX from August.


AS IT STANDS


Relegation Table – Monday 14th April

POS TEAM A-11 C-12 A-12 C-13 A-13 C-14 POINTS GAMES COEFFICIENT

14 Veracruz 0 0 0 0 20 15 35 32 1.0938

15 Chiapas 24 12 15 16 25 17 109 100 1.0900

16 Atlas 12 20 12 32 12 18 106 100 1.0600

17 Puebla 22 19 13 19 19 12 104 100 1.0400

18 Atlante 19 16 20 13 12 18 98 100 0.9800


Atlante cannot realistically catch any of the sides above them. Despite only being six points behind Puebla with two games to play, Atlante’s goal difference is -63 compared to Puebla’s -35.


It means Atlante will drop to the Ascenso MX and will replaced with the winner of playoff game between Apertura 2013 champions Leones Negros and the winner of the Ascenso’s 2014 Clausura championship.


It is likely to be a long road to recovery for Atlante. After leaving Mexico City in 2007 to relocate to Cancun they have struggled to maintain a fanbase, with the local baseball side (Tigres de Quintana Roo, the reigning Mexican champions) considerably more popular among locals. Rumors are circulating that top scorer Michael Arroyo will leave for Club America, and manager Marini may also choose to head back to South America.


In the regular table Atlante drop to thirteenth, Atlas are three points outside the playoffs in tenth, and Veracruz and Puebla stay in seventeenth and eighteenth. Atlante’s relegation means they will not be able to take up a place in the Liguilla, even if they recover for a top eight finish. 

 
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