Liga MX Power Rankings: Cementeros hold top spot

Cruz Azul won its 7th straight match with a crisp display against 10-man Mazatlán FC. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Cruz Azul won its 7th straight match with a crisp display against 10-man Mazatlán FC. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Power Rankings 9
Necaxa and Pachuca fought to a 2-2 draw then battled on after the whistle. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images) /

Playoff dreams hanging by a thread for some

13. Mazatlán FC (–2)

Record: 3-1-5     10 points

“Los Cañoneros” took the field at Estadio Azteca knowing the odds were against them, facing the hottest team in Liga MX – Cruz Azul – with their top scorer out injured. Then Walter Gael Sandoval picked up a red card for a reckless tackle just 22 minutes in and coach Tommy Boy had little choice to park the bus. It worked for a while but it really only minimized the damage. Now they’ll have to visit the Chivas with two offensive starters watching from the stands.

14. León (–1)

Record: 2-1-5      7 points

The champs have fallen and they can’t get up. The Esmeraldas lost at home for the third time this season, inexplicably falling apart at the back in the final 10 minutes against Puebla. An awful penalty by the usually trustworthy José Iván Rodríguez set the stage for a Keystone Kops routine on the game-winning play by the Camotheros. Somehow, “La Fiera” must pick itself up because América is next.

15. UNAM (+2)

Record: 2-2-5      8 points

The Pumas were gifted a late penalty against Santos and Juan Ignacio Dinenno converted it to help the “Universitarios” end a 4-game losing streak (their longest since 2009). To be fair, UNAM showed considerable in attack and the 1-0 win was their first since Jan. 17. They’ll have little time to celebrate as league-leading Cruz Azul comes calling on Sunday.

16. FC Juárez (–1)

Record: 2-2-4      8 points

The Bravos put up solid resistance against Monterrey for about … oh … maybe 10-12 minutes. And then the walls caved in. Coach Luis Fernando Tena watched his team concede 6 goals at home, as did a small crowd of fans who were allowed into the Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez for the first time this season (at 30% capacity).

17. Necaxa (–1)

Record: 1-4-4      7 points

The Rayos squandered a chance to revive their playoff hopes after conceding a late goal to the worst team in Liga MX. The “Hidrocálidos” appeared to find some offensive personality (15 shots and 54% possession) but once again were saved by goalie Luis Malagón (5 saves, several of the splendid variety).

dark. Next. Liga MX By the Numbers

18. Pachuca (—)

Record: 0-4-5      4 points

The Tuzos remain the lone winless team in Liga MX after stealing a point at Necaxa thanks to an 85th-minute goal from former Rayos star Mauro Quiroga. If Pachuca fails to win against Tijuana on Monday, it’s hard to see how Paulo Pezzolano remains as coach.