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Fourteen down and three to go – the Liga MX relegation battle is nearing its conclusion. Three of the sides in the battle picked up points this weekend, meaning we are now starting to get a much clearer idea of which team will be playing second division football next season.
Liga MX Relegation Round-Up: Puebla & Atlas Draw, Atlante on the Precipice
04/08/2014
 
Atlante 0-2 Tigres

By Daniel Price


Fourteen down and three to go – the Liga MX relegation battle is nearing its conclusion. Three of the sides in the battle picked up points this weekend, meaning we are now starting to get a much clearer idea of which team will be playing second division football next season.


AS IT STOOD


Round Thirteen saw a weekend of unlikely results as Atlas and Verazcruz both scored maximum points from games they were expected to lose.


Atlas became the first team this season to emerge from the Estadio Azul with anything other than a defeat when they dispatched the league leaders 3-1, while bottom side Veracruz hosted third-placed Pachuca and came away with an equally impressive 3-1 win.


Having been dragged into the relegation fight in recent weeks, Puebla played Club Leon at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc and earned a highly creditable 1-1 draw to end their three match losing streak. Luis Noriega was the hero for the hosts, cancelling out Carlos Pena’s first half strike with just under fifteen minutes remaining.


The only side to lose was Atlante. The Cancun side played out an entertaining 3-2 defeat against Monterrey – a result that meant they had lost two of their last three games and were slowly being cut adrift from the other three sides.


Relegation Table – Thursday 3rd April

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

14      Chiapas        24       12     15      16      25      16       108            98          1.1020

15      Veracruz       0          0       0         0       20      13         33             30          1.1000

16      Atlas              12       20     12      32     12       17       105            98          1.0714

17      Puebla          22       19     13      19      19      11       103            98          1.0510

18      Atlante         19       16     20      13      12      18        98             98           1.0000


ROUND FOURTEEN ACTION


The first game of Round Fourteen in the Liga MX saw Veracruz travel to Morelia on Friday evening. Having used four different managers, Morelia have been inconsistent throughout 2014. Their results have swung from the emphatic to the embarrassing – wins over Club America and Pumas UNAM tempered by defeats to Queretaro and Atlante.


The game finished in a 1-1 draw, though Veracruz were much the better side – managing sixteen shots to Morelia’s seven. Cristian Borja gave the visitors the lead just after half time with his second goal of the season, but a red card for Oscar Mascorro meant the "Tiburones Rojos" had to play the final half hour with ten men. Morelia worked their advantage and grabbed an equalizer with ten minutes to go – Ignacio González firing a shot past Edgar Hernández and into the bottom corner.


Saturday evening saw a game between two of the sides in the relegation scrap, as Puebla traveled to Guadalajara to face Atlas. Round Eleven had seen Atlas emerge as 1-0 winners from their relegation head-to-head with Veracruz, and The "Zorros" knew if they repeated that result and Atlante lost their match they would be mathematically certain to avoid relegation.


The 0-0 result was evidence of a tense and nervy affair, with both sides evidently more concerned about avoiding defeat rather than chasing the win. The two teams only managed one shot on target between them – a long range effort from Vicente Vuoso in the 81st minute which bounced harmlessly into Villalpando’s grasp.


The final game of the weekend took place in Cancun between Atlante and Tigres UANL. Tigres have endured a mixed season, with an excellent Copa MX run balanced by some disappointing league results. Atlante are ahead of Tigres in the general classification, and would have been hopeful of getting something from the game.


Unfortunately for the hosts they were unable to contain the visitor’s attacking prowess. Alan Pulido has been Tigres’ most dangerous player for the last twelve months, and once again he inflicted maximum damage – scoring both goals in a comfortable 2-0 win for the Monterrey side. The first came through a long distance curling effort, and the second via a 91st minute penalty.


AS IT STANDS


Relegation Table – Monday 7th 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


With just nine points still to play for the situation is looking bleak for Atlante. They have lost three of their last four games and are now rapidly being left behind by the other three sides.


Atlas and Puebla have respective goal-differences of -28 and -34, compared to Atlante’s -62 – meaning Atlas need just one point and Puebla need three points in order to guarantee their survival.


As with last week, Atlante’s best hope of survival remains a Veracruz collapse. Veracruz do have a slightly harder run of fixture than The "Azulgranas", but Atlante will arguably need at least two wins and will have to hope the other results go in their favor.


In the general table Atlas sit ninth, two points outside the top eight, Atlante drop to tenth, and Veracruz and Puebla continue to occupy seventeenth and eighteenth respectively.


REMAINING FIXTURES


Atlas

Week 15 vs Queretaro (a)

Week 16 vs Toluca (h)

Week 17 vs Tigres (a)


Veracruz

Week 15 vs Pumas (h)

Week 16 vs Monterrey (a)

Week 17 vs Santos (h)


Puebla

Week 15 vs America (h)

Week 16 vs Pachuca (a)

Week 17 vs Morelia (h)


Atlante

Week 15 vs Santos (a)

Week 16 vs Tijuana (h)

Week 17 vs Chiapas (a)

 
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