Two more Liga MX postseason tickets handed out

Christian Tabó celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Toluca. (Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images)
Christian Tabó celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Toluca. (Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M17 Chivas
Angel Saldívar gestures toward fans after scoring for the Chivas. The 1-0 win in Mazatlán clinched a Liga MX playoff berth for Guadalajara. (Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images) /

Sub Angel Zaldívar fired the Chivas into the Liga MX playoffs with a late goal, ripping a left-footer into the side netting for a 1-0 victory over Mazatlán FC.

The win clinched a wildcard spot for Guadalajara, while the Cañoneros will have to sweat through three other matches this weekend to find out if they qualify for a postseason berth for the first time in the franchise’s brief history.

In Friday’s other match, Puebla secured an invitation to the Liga MX dance by defeating already-qualified Toluca 1-0 with a gritty defensive display. Christián Tabó scored from the penalty spot in minute 60 for the only goal of the night in Estadio Cuauhtémoc.

With the win, the Camoteros matched the Diablos on points (24) and goal differential (0), but Toluca holds the “Most Goals” tiebreaker, keeping them in fifth place for now. Puebla has the No. 6 seed pending the outcome of the Pumas-Cruz Azul, América-Monterrey and Santos-San Luis contests.

Seeding for Liga MX playoffs still undetermined

Toluca’s indifferent display cost Hernán Cristante’s men a chance at a first-round playoff bye. The four teams that finish atop the Liga MX table qualify directly into the quarterfinals, while the next eight teams enter the wildcard round.

Sitting in fifth place before the game, the Diablos could have leap-frogged the Tigres and León both of whom play season finales at home Saturday night. Instead, Puebla snagged a berth in the Liga MX postseason tournament for the third season running.

Santos Laguna, Cruz Azul and Monterrey can each climb past Toluca and Puebla, knocking the pair as low as 8th and 9th, respectively.

Down toward the bottom of the playoff seeding, the Chivas rose from 12th to 9th with their road win. As that’s the best seed Guadalajara can attain, the Chivas will be forced to play their wildcard match on the road. But just making the Liga MX playoffs is considered a triumph in Verde Valle these days.

Zaldívar came on in minute 76 but was rather inconspicuous for 10 minutes until fellow sub Alexis Vega found him with a pass inside the half-moon. Zaldívar trapped smoothly, stepped to his left around defender Carlos Vargas and zipped a shot past a lunging Nicolás Vikonis.

Dropping all 3 points at home has Mazatlán at the mercy of San Luis (at Santos), Pachuca (at last-place Tijuana) and UNAM (hosting Cruz Azul). Pachuca will be favored in its match, but the other two playoff hopefuls are underdogs.

Next. América retains top spot in Power Rankings. dark

After Matchday 17 concludes Sunday night, Liga MX will go idle during the Nov. 9-18 FIFA break, with the wildcard round scheduled for Nov. 20-21.