Five teams have booked their tickets to the Liguilla, the eight-team playoff that will decide the Liga MX champion. That means three spots are still up for grabs, with five teams still holding out hope to make the postseason.
Cruz Azul, Club America, Pumas, Santos Laguna and Monterrey all know their seasons will continue while Tigres, Toluca, Morelia, Pachuca and Queretaro have work to do this weekend to make sure they get in.
One of the most important matches of the weekend was the first one. Morelia met Cruz Azul on Friday night with the knowledge that a win would clinch its position in the postseason - and potentially set up a Liguilla rematch with La Maquina. However, Cruz Azul won 2-0 to clinch the Superlider place. While there's a lingering belief the No. 1 seed is cursed, it's still a desirable spot. Cruz Azul will play the second leg of all playoff series at the Estadio Azteca. While the field quality there is far from ideal, the club leads the league in attendance since moving south before the start of the tournament.
With Monarcas faltering, the door is be wide open for both Pachuca and Queretaro. Tuzos host Leon on Saturday and have a goal-difference advantage Queretaro is unlikely to be able to overcome. Heading into the weekend, Pachuca is at +8 with Queretaro sitting at -2. The Gallos Blancos play before Queretaro, though, hosting a slumping Necaxa side. Look for Rafael Puente's men to try and put the throttle down and get as many goals as possible in a win over the Rayos.
A positive result for Tigres in Guadalajara against Chivas locks up their spot in the postseason. It is difficult to imagine a postseason without Andre-Pierre Gignac, Javier Aquino and the rest of Tuca Ferretti's squad.
Toluca is in the same situation. Currently sitting in seventh but not playing until Sunday, the Red Devils will know exactly what they need to do when they play Lobos BUAP in the final match of the regular season. No matter how things shake out earlier in the weekend, a victory would put Toluca into the playoffs.
Tigres could go as high as fourth, and they aren't the only team who has a wide range of playoff seeding possibilities at the top. While teams like Pumas and Monterrey will be in the Liguilla, they have huge ranges of potential seeds. A Rayados win over Atlas coupled with adverse results for America, Santos and Pumas could see the team climb as high as second, but a loss and success from the teams who aren't yet qualified could see them drop all the way to the last spot of the Liguilla. Pumas and Santos each could fall as far as seven.
It seems like a safe bet to picture Tigres in the final, and Toluca playing a Lobos BUAP team that has showed signs of life toward the end of the season but ultimately is far from the level of the Red Devils also should book its spot. That would leave just one place. Pachuca's recent hot streak has put the talented young team on the verge, especially after Morelia fell short Friday night.
The final week should bring plenty of drama ahead of the real excitement beginning when the Liguilla kicks off next week.