Another week ... another crushing loss for Puebla.
Puebla looked to be poised for a fight with a first minute goal in the Estadio Olimpico. That fight died a slow death over the course of the remaining 89 minutes. Pumas slowly gained control of the match and took the 2-1 victory. Puebla's second consecutive loss ensured them bottom of the relegation table status. They remain the heavy favorite to be relegated at this point.
However, Puebla isn't totally alone in the danger zone. Leones Negros hurt their position with a home loss to the ugly uniforms of Chiapas. This loss drops Leones Negros to a percentage that is within reach of Puebla. They can still take solace in the fact that a few wins will ensure their safety. The match between Puebla and Leones Negros in a few weeks is beginning to loom large.
Chivas may just be making their exit from this relegation fight. This week's win over Toluca pushed them above Leones Negros in the relegation table. They now sit eight points above Puebla. An eight point gap in six games isn't impossible to topple, but it's not very likely. If Puebla wins out (they won't), Chivas would need 10 points or more in the final six matches to remain safe. Their current play suggests this shouldn't be a difficult task.
Veracruz has continually shown they have no interest in participating in this relegation battle. After facing their first loss of the season last week, the Tiburones Rojos responded with style. They thumped Club America 4-0 at home to move one to step closer to mathematically eliminating themselves from the relegation race. This inevitability should be coming in the next few weeks.
TABLA DE DESCENSO
15. Veracruz - 62 games played - 73 points - 1.1774 ppg
16. Chivas - 96 games played - 108 points - 1.1250 ppg
17. Leones Negros - 28 games played - 30 points - 1.0714 ppg
18. Puebla - 96 games played - 100 points - 1.0416 ppg
The foursome will have some time to regroup before the home stretch with the international break coming. In April, action resumes with some tough contests for this group.
Puebla will be hosting Toluca. They will be hoping they receive the same Toluca that put forth a weak effort in the Omnilife this week. Puebla needs wins and simply must win their home games at this point. Anything less than three points in this one will be tragic. With Toluca's inconsistency, a win here isn't impossible for Puebla. I believe Puebla will get a surprising win here.
Veracruz travels to Monterrey to face Tigres in the Volcan. Tigres are another squad that has had some ups and downs which is at least partially due to Copa Libertadores participation. However, they have won four consecutive home games. Veracruz is consistently a freight train of awesomeness. They win again because that is what they do.
Chivas returns to their old stomping grounds for the Clasico Tapatio with Atlas. It's now safe to say that Chivas have rounded into form. They are playing some of their best football in years. While their rivalry match with Atlas is always tough, any points in this match will be a big win for the rojiblancos. I believe a draw is likely.
Leones Negros follow in Puebla's footsteps and head to the CU to play Pumas. It seems as though they are getting Pumas at the absolute wrong time. Pumas are playing their best at the moment and will be hoping their form holds through the international break. I don't like UdG's chances in this situation. I could see this being another loss for the Guadalajara club.
* Relegation in Liga MX is determined based on the lowest points per game for the past three years or six seasons including the present. Veracruz and Leones Negros are recently promoted and haven't been in the league for three years. Hence, they have played fewer matches and their points per game number fluctuates more than that of Puebla or Chivas.
*** Artwork is used under a Creative Commons license from Tina Carlson