Diego Maradona twice got his team to the brink but Dorados de Sinaloa
The second leg of the Clausura final went to extra time Sunday after ending scoreless, but a goal from Unai Bilbao in extra time was enough for the club to win the second division. Last week's first leg finished 1-1, with Dorados being awarded a controversial penalty in the first half but Juan David Castro was able to find an equalizer in the second half.
The Argentine legend arrived in Sinaloa in the fall and found success with a nine-match undefeated run at one point during the Apertura before running into Atletico in the final and falling short. The Clausura saw him continue to have success, with the club riding a 10-match unbeaten streak into Sunday's deciding match. Once again, however, veteran Mexican manager Alfonso Sosa was able to get the better of Maradona and lift the trophy.
With Atletico San Luis the champion of both the Apertura and Clausura, Los Potosinos secured automatic promotion to the first division. It's the first club since Necaxa in 2009-10 to win both short tournaments and negate the need for a promotion final.
Atletico will be the first Liga MX team in the city of San Luis Potosi to have first-division soccer since 2013. The club was founded five years ago, filling the void left by San Luis FC. That club moved to Chiapas in a strange swap that saw Queretaro, Chiapas and Veracruz end up in the first division, while San Luis and La Piedad lost their clubs.
Last season provided an example of more idiosyncrasies within the Mexican soccer promotion and relegation system. Lobos BUAP were the worst team in the coefficient table used to determine which team goes down but, with Ascenso champion Cafetaleros de Tapachula ruled not to meet the requirements for promotion, paid a penalty and stayed in the top circuit.
By results, Veracruz should be relegated this season, but it remains to be seen if they too will pay a penalty and stay in the top division. The league reportedly has plans for what the Apertura calendar would look like with 18 or 19 teams.