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Liga MX Apertura playoffs: Schedule, dates & teams in the Liguilla

17:03 GMT 08/12/2017
Aviles Hurtado Monterrey
The first championship stage of the 2017-18 Mexican season is underway, with the likes of Monterrey and Tigres battling it out for the Apertura crown

The Liga MX playoffs are underway.

The Mexican domestic season consists of two identical stages - the Apertura and Clausura - and crowns a champion in each of the two every year.

The Apertura begins in July and starts with a 17-game regular season. The top eight teams then progress to a knockout competition - known as the Liguilla, or mini-league - in which the first of those two champions is decided.

The first Liguilla of 2017-18 is now in progress ahead of the two-legged final in December.

Goal has your complete guide to this year's Apertura postseason.


WHEN IS THE LIGUILLA?


The Liguilla began with the first legs of the quarterfinal ties on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Thursday, Nov. 23. It will conclude with a two-legged final on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 10.

The full playoff schedule is reproduced below. All times are Eastern.

QUARTERFINALS:

Match Leg 1 Leg 2
Monterrey (1) vs. Atlas (8) 2-1 4-1
Tigres (2) vs. Leon (7) 1-1 1-1
America (3) vs. Cruz Azul (6) 0-0 0-0
Morelia (4) vs. Toluca (5) 1-2 2-1

SEMIFINALS:

Match Leg 1 Leg 2
Monterrey vs. Morelia 1-0 Dec. 3, 7 p.m.
Tigres vs. Club America 1-0 Dec. 2, 8 p.m.

FINALS:

Match Leg 1 Leg 2
Monterrey vs.Tigres 1-1 Dec. 10

WHICH TEAMS ARE IN THE LIGUILLA?


The top eight teams from the regular season qualify for the playoffs, with the first-place team taking on the last-place team and so on at the quarterfinal stage.

Monterrey finished top of the table by five points, scoring the most goals (29) and conceding the fewest (12). They were powered by the goals of Aviles Hurtado, who was the joint-top scorer during the regular season with 11.

Tigres were Monterrey's closest rivals, finishing five points adrift in second place and losing just three games out of 17.

After that, there is just five points between third-place America and eighth-place Atlas. Necaxa, who finished ninth and missed the playoffs, were closer to America than America were to Monterrey.

Morelia recovered from a poor start to surge into fourth place, while a five-match winning run in September and October set Leon up to secure seventh spot.

Felipe Mora made himself a hero by scoring three goals in the last two games of the regular season to book sixth place for Cruz Azul, while Toluca round out the field in fifth.

The Apertura standings in full are reproduced below.

REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS:

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Monterrey 17 11 4 2 29 12 +17 37
2 Tigres 17 9 5 3 28 16 +12 32
3 America 17 9 3 5 23 18 +5 30
4 Morelia 17 8 5 4 25 17 +8 29
5 Toluca 17 8 5 4 24 21 +3 29
6 Cruz Azul 17 7 6 4 22 22 0 27
7 Leon 17 8 2 7 27 23 +4 26
8 Atlas 17 7 4 6 23 19 +4 25
9 Necaxa 17 6 6 5 19 15 +4 24
10 BUAP 17 7 2 8 26 31 -5 23
11 Tijuana 17 6 3 8 17 23 -6 21
12 Pachuca 17 5 4 8 23 25 -2 19
13 Guadalajara 17 4 6 7 21 23 -2 18
14 Santos Laguna 17 3 9 5 20 23 -3 18
15 Puebla 17 3 7 7 14 20 -6 16
16 Queretaro 17 3 7 7 19 27 -8 16
17 Veracruz 17 4 2 11 14 28 -14 14
18 Pumas 17 3 4 10 14 25 -11 13

HOW CAN I WATCH THE LIGUILLA?


In the U.S., the Liguilla will be broadcast on Univision Deportes, with select games also shown on the main Univision channel. The games can be streamed via Univision Now.

In Mexico, the games will be split between TDN, Sky and ESPN.


WHO ARE THE TOP SCORERS?


Mauro Boselli of Leon and Aviles Hurtado of Monterrey were the top scorers during the regular season, netting 11 goals each.

Of the teams in the playoffs, Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia) and Enner Valencia (Tigres) scored nine times apiece, while Felipe Mora (Cruz Azul) and Fernando Uribe (Toluca) notched eight.

The current Liguilla top scorers are shown below:

Rank Player Club Goals
1 Rogelio Funes Mori Monterrey 6
=2 Aviles Hurtado Monterrey 3
=2 Enner Valencia Tigres 3
=3 Fernando Uribe Toluca 2
=3 Raul Ruidiaz Morelia 2

WHO ARE THE REIGNING CHAMPIONS?


Chivas are the most recent champions having won the 2016-17 Clausura, defeating Tigres in the final.

While Tigres are back in the Liguilla this time, though, Chivas fell to 13th in the table and failed to qualify.

Tigres also were the winners of last year's Apertura, seeing off America in the final after extra time and penalties.