Cruz Azul enter Week 14 with a narrow one-point lead atop the Liga MX table. There was a chance that Azul would be in second by the time their match began, but that is not going to be the case.
Toluca could have overtaken Cruz Azul on Friday. In second place by just a point, they traveled to take on Tijuana. They came up short, falling 3-1 in Caliente Stadium.
This will come as a relief to Cruz Azul, as they face a tough challenge this week. The table leaders are scheduled to take on fourth-place America on Saturday.
All of these matches are pivotal, as time is running short on the season. At the conclusion of this matchday, there will be just three weeks left in the season.
Have a look at the results as they come in, and then I'll offer up a recap of some of the more interesting moments from the week.
|Week 14 Results|
|Liga MX Table|
As mentioned above, Toluca blew a golden opportunity this week. Although, we can't let this take away from Tijuana's strong performance.
The New York Times' Brian Sciaretta commended Tijuana's play in the late stages of this game:
They were on the road, but their match came against a ninth-place Tijuana side that Toluca should be able to handle. Had they won, it would have had them jumping over Cruz Azul in the table and putting the pressure on Cruz Azul heading into their match with America.
Instead, they offered up a lackluster performance from start to finish. Dario Benedetto put Tijuana on the board with a strike in the 28th minute. Just three minutes later, however, Jorge Sartiaguín leveled the score.
At that point, it looked like Toluca would shrug off a rough start. Instead the rough start turned into a poor match. Tijuana added two goals in the second half: one by Javier Guemez and another off of a Cristian Pellerano penalty.
This was a well-earned three points for Tijuana, who are now in sixth in the table. They were far more active in this game by firing off 20 shots to Toluca's eight and controlling possession for 63 percent of the match.
Toluca have now lost two of their last three matches, and their title hopes are fading. Toluca will host Leon next, then visit Atlas and finally host America.
Cruz Azul made Toluca pay for their misstep by defeating America by a 2-1 tally on Sunday, extending their lead to four points atop the table.
First-half goals from Mauro Formica and Julio Dominguez gave Cruz Azul a two-goal lead headed into the intermission. It appeared the result was secure until America's Raul Jimenez sliced the lead in half in the 86th minute, but Cruz Azul held on for the critical victory.
With just three games left in the Liga MX season, Cruz Azul is closing in on the title. Games against Pachuca and UNAM could be difficult, but both contests will take place at Estadio Azul. With a road game against Morelia sandwiched in between, it is difficult to imagine Cruz Azul not coming away with the title.
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