Liga MX Liguilla set after Pumas draw sets up Mexico City showdown with America

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A pair of Clasico Capitalino matches are the highlight of the Liga MX quarterfinals, which are set to begin Wednesday

Pumas' 1-1 draw with Queretaro on Sunday afternoon put David Patino's club into the postseason and set up a Mexico City showdown with Club America in the quarterfinals of the Liga MX Liguilla.

The eight-team playoff to determine the league champion begins with two first legs Wednesday and another two Thursday. The second legs for the series beginning Wednesday take place Saturday with the other two deciding matches taking place Sunday.

Pumas were at the top of the league to start the season but fell off significantly and needed a result Sunday to confirm their spot in the postseason. A 15th-minute goal from Matias Alustiza had them on the right track, but halftime substitute Erbin Trejo's equalizer from outside the box in the 77th minute had fans at the Estadio Olimpico biting their fingernails.

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Patino's side saw out the draw, though, to finish as the seventh seed.

The other matchups will include top seed Toluca taking on Monarcas Morelia, No. 3 Monterrey squaring off with Tijuana and Santos Laguna meeting Tigres.

There were only three Liguilla spots up for grabs heading into the final weekend, and Tijuana punched its ticket by ending Toluca's nine-match winning streak Friday. 

Monarcas were left sweating after drawing 2-2 with Necaxa but got relief from Pachuca's 1-1 draw Saturday against Atlas, leaving Tuzos out of the party and putting Morelia in.

While the Clasico Capitalino will draw most of the attention, the series between northern rivals Santos Laguna and Tigres also is intriguing. Santos had an excellent tournament but come into the playoffs on the back of three defeats, while Tigres have drawn their last three matches.

Monterrey and Tijuana also could be an even series. Though Monterrey had a stronger tournament, Tijuana avoided defeat in its final four matches of the season to make the playoffs. The two teams played to a scoreless draw during the regular season.

Pumas-America and Tijuana-Monterrey kick off Wednesday with Tigres-Santos and Morelia-Toluca starting Thursday.

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