Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Playoffs Mexico style

Mexico's Apertura 2007 season is over, at least the regular season part of the campaign. Now, the playoffs are set to commence.

If you're new to the league or just a casual fan, the structure might seem familiar but it's got some haphazard elements unique to Mexico.

First, the teams still alive for the playoffs. The top two teams in each group get in automatically so...

Group 1: Toluca (34 points), Pumas (24)
Group 2: Santos (38), Atlante (33)
Group 3: Chivas (31), San Luis (29)

Now, the four teams with the most points afterward get into what's called the repechaje. One way to translate that would be the wild-card round, which is what I like to use because Americans would be familiar with the term and concept. Also, the play-in games are used or play-in round.

Anyway, the repechaje matchups are:
Pachuca (24 points) vs Cruz Azul (25)
America (26) vs Morelia (22)

Pachuca-Cruz Azul play on Wednesday and Saturday while America-Morelia is set for Thursday and Sunday. Once the round is over, the matchups will be set based on points. Santos, the superlider (the team with the most points) will play the team with the fewest points left so they'll face either Morelia, Pachuca or Pumas. The only quarterfinal matchup that is set in stone thus far is Chivas-San Luis.

The playoff system is a bit crazy in Mexico. There are 18 teams and 10 are still alive after the regular season. So while most leagues around the world are marathons, Mexico's is clearly a sprint.


Anonymous said...

vamos pumas!

David W said...

Just think, if Mexico's league ever received much English language, we would hear snobs talking about how the playoffs make the regular season meaningless. 10/18 is almost as high as MLS' 8/13 playoffs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Mexico provides less of an advantage for the higher seeds because all of the playoff rounds consist of home-and-home series. Does anyone know if Mexico uses the away goals rule?