Power Rankings: Toluca leapfrogs Tigres after beating Apertura champs
MEXICO CITY -- Toluca has now gone 11 matches in all competitions without a loss. The last time the Diablos Rojos dropped a three-pointer was Valentine's Day, against Puebla.
Since then, they've stormed into the Copa MX final, and into first place of Liga MX, with 30 points in 14 games this season. The 1-0 win over Tigres, the defending champions (and prior Power Ranking kings) is also indicative of their chances to crown themselves in the playoffs.
Here are the Power Rankings for Week 14:
1. TOLUCA (+1)
There was some confusion as to whether Tigres should have gotten a late penalty call at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. However, the non-call produced a seismic shift in the Liga MX table, with Toluca leapfrogging Tigres for first place. It also means Toluca can compete with the favorites to win it all come Liguilla time.
2. TIGRES UANL (-1)
Even Tigres' social media team was upset over the non-call in the 90th minute on Sunday, but truth be told, the league champions were stifled by a strong defensive unit in Toluca, and did not display the usual offensive firepower we're accustomed to seeing from a squad known for scoring in bunches.
3. SANTOS LAGUNA (+1)
A 3-0 win over Queretaro was just what Santos Laguna needed after a tough loss knocked it off the league's perch last week. Djaniny got back on the score sheet with a second-half penalty, and the team's 29 points mean it is officially qualified for this season's playoffs.
4. CLUB AMERICA (-1)
Last weekend's gambit against Necaxa didn't go quite as planned. Miguel Herrera started most of his top players in an effort to bounce back from the 3-1 loss against Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League. Although America held a late lead, it coughed up the win and failed to regain confidence en route to the second leg against the MLS side.
5. MONTERREY (no change)
After Pumas jumped out to an early lead, Monterrey roared back to top the Mexico City side before the first half was out. Although it was unable to add on after Pumas lost a man to a red card, Monterrey's win solidified its second-half revival and positioned it to just one point beneath hated rivals Tigres in the league table.
6. MORELIA (no change)
Raul Ruidiaz was lights out against Leon, scoring three goals in what looked like a rout early on. Although Morelia had to hang on to victory toward the end of the game after two late strikes, it picked up an important win to maintain its playoff position.
7. CLUB TIJUANA (no change)
Xolos had a two-goal lead at home with just 20 minutes to go. However, Atlas struck back with Angelo Henriquez and former Tijuana striker Milton Caraglio to earn a share of the spoils. Although they were unable to fully rebound after a 1-0 loss to Veracruz last week, this was definitely a better performance from Diego Cocca's men.
8. PACHUCA (+3)
A six-goal explosion left Puebla in the dust and put Pachuca in eighth place, both in the Liga MX table and our Power Rankings. Derided by some as a publicity stunt, the signing of Keisuke Honda has been instrumental for Pachuca this season as it looks to make the playoffs in the Clausura. He and Sebastian Palacios (four goals vs. Puebla) have turned into a lethal tandem of late.
9. NECAXA (no change)
Necaxa is almost certainly due to for an upswing in results. It has a strong defensive unit, good midfielders and dynamic forwards capable of scoring. At home, against Club America, it showed flashed of brilliance by tying the game late and coming close to a win in the final moments.
10. PUMAS UNAM (-2)
It looks like another disappointing season for Pumas, as the team has gone eight games without a win. It's been exactly two months since the Mexico City club picked up its last three-pointer. After a six-game unbeaten streak to start the season, the magic is gone from the Estadio Universitario.
11. VERACRUZ (+5)
Three wins in a row means Veracruz is out of the deadly relegation spot in Liga MX, and also fighting for a playoff place with just three games to go. Atlas, Tijuana and now Chivas have fallen prey to a revitalized side that looked doomed just a fortnight ago.
12. LEON (no change)
Leon had fancied itself the kings of comebacks with late reactions in recent games. It tried again this weekend against Morelia, attempting to come back from a 3-0 deficit. It nearly got there, although goals from Mauro Boselli and Claudio Gonzalez fell just short.
13. PUEBLA (-3)
Four games, four losses for Puebla, who has now dropped out of the playoff race. The team now looks more the side that has missed the postseason consistently these past few seasons and less like the squad primed to shock the league earlier this semester. Has it reached bottom after a 6-2 drubbing against Pachuca?
14. CRUZ AZUL (+1)
Too little, too late? The 1-0 win over Lobos BUAP technically means its season is still alive, but Pedro Caixinha's team has not been consistent enough to warrant the thought this might be the start of a season-saving streak.
15. CHIVAS (-2)
Chivas was in full CCL mode this weekend, when it trotted out a young, inexperienced side against Veracruz. It hung in throughout the 90 minutes, but a quick first-half goal from its rival proved too much to overcome.
16. QUERETARO (-2)
Against one of the league's better teams, Queretaro seemed to be cruising toward a scoreless draw that kept its fading playoff hopes alive. In just 15 minutes, Santos turned it up and routed the visitors at the Estadio Corona to take a well-deserved win.
17. ATLAS (no change)
Four points in the past two games for Atlas. That's just one more point than it's had managers this season. Time to regroup over the summer.
18. LOBOS BUAP (no change)
Lobos came up short again, this time with a new manager and, frankly, looking like a team that knows it will be playing in the second division next year.
Eric Gomez is an editor for ESPN's One Nación. You can follow him on Twitter: @EricGomez86.