Matosas: Don’t rule Leon out of Liga MX title race

Last tournament's champion struggled to get into the postseason this season, but now has a chance to knock off the top team in Liga MX
Reigning Liga MX champion Leon had only the slimmest chance of reaching the postseason ahead of last weekend’s matches, but after results fell its way one by one, coach Gustavo Matosas believes his side is now a contender to win back-to-back titles.

La Fiera won’t have it easy, however, facing CONCACAF Champions League winner and regular season first-place finisher Cruz Azul in the quarterfinal.

“If you look at the difference in the table, there are no two opinions, Cruz Azul (has) 36 points, Leon (has) 23, but sometimes football isn’t logical,” said Matosas in a press conference Monday. “It is an opportunity we have to take advantage of.”

Pumas – under Hugo Sanchez - are the only side to have won consecutive titles since short tournaments began in Mexico in 1996.

Also Monday, the Liga MX confirmed times and days for all the quarterfinal matches of the Clausura 2014.

The Estadio Azteca will start proceedings on Wednesday, when Club America hosts Santos Laguna (9 p.m. ET), with the return leg in Torreon on Saturday (10 p.m. ET).

Later Wednesday, Leon will be at home to Cruz Azul (11 p.m. ET). The second leg will be played in the Estadio Azul on Saturday (8 p.m. ET).

On Thursday, Pachuca faces Pumas in the Estadio Hidalgo (9 p.m. ET), with the deciding match on Sunday (6 p.m. ET).

Finally, Tijuana hosts Toluca on Thursday (11 p.m. ET) and the second game is Sunday (1 p.m. ET).