Liga MX playoffs set with Clasico Joven leading the way

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The Liguilla begins Wednesday, with a Mexico City rivalry looking like the most enticing matchup

The Liga MX quarterfinals are set after the league announced the dates and times for each series Monday morning.

Monterrey and Club America will host the deciding legs of their matches Sunday with the first legs taking place Thursday. Tigres and Morelia will host the second legs of their matchups Saturday with the first legs taking place Wednesday.

A late goal by Club America midfielder Guido Rodriguez gave Las Aguilas a 1-0 victory over Santos Laguna on Sunday to set up a meeting with crosstown rival Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals of the Liga MX playoffs.

America had struggled against the already-eliminated Guerreros, but the Argentine's first-time shot beat Jonathan Orozco and gave America the three points it needed to jump from the five seed into the three seed and set up the meeting between Mexico City sides.

Cruz Azul clinched its spot in the Liguilla a day earlier with a 1-0 win over Veracruz, which combined with Necaxa's 2-1 loss to Morelia put La Maquina into the postseason for the first time since the 2014 Clausura.

Monterrey's victory over rival Tigres on Saturday, combined with the results near the bottom of the table, confirmed that Rayados would be the top seed and take on Atlas. Despite the defeat, Tigres secured the No. 2 seed but drew a tough matchup against a Leon team that has one of the league's most powerful attacks — including forward Mauro Boselli, who tied Monterrey's Aviles Hurtado for the top scorer crown — and handed Tigres one of their three defeats this season.

In a battle of clubs that are a bit off the radar but could certainly make a charge to the final, Morelia and Toluca round out the Liguilla field. Each ended a team's hopes of making the Liguilla this weekend, with Monarcas defeating Necaxa and Toluca rolling to a 3-1 home win against Tijuana.

The quarterfinals are:

No. 1 Monterrey vs. No. 8 Atlas

No. 2 Tigres vs. No. 7 Leon

No. 3 Club America vs. No. 6 Cruz Azul

No. 4 Morelia vs. No. 5 Toluca

The first tiebreaker in the quarterfinal series is away goals, though if the teams are still level, the club with the better regular-season finish moves to the semifinals rather than playing extra time. The tournament is reseeded after each round.

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