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Why you should watch Liga MX’s Clausura 2023 Liguilla (Playoffs)

If you’ve ever needed a reason to go out of your way to watch Liga MX’s Liguilla playoff tournament, you’re in the right place.

The regular season stage in Mexico has come to an end, and after 17 matchdays (topped with a few play-in games), the quarterfinals for the Clausura 2023 Liguilla are set. And boy are we in for a treat.

The Liga MX playoffs will begin on Wednesday, May 10, and will see some of the unlikely, but interesting matchups we’ve seen as of late.

Monterrey will face familiar-foe Santos, América will face dark-horse Átletico San Luis, Chivas will face city rival Atlas, and Toluca will face a struggling, but fiery Tigres. 

Starting off right.

These matchups will be two-legged and with the team whose position was higher on the table at the end of the regular season playing the second leg at home. Since there is no extra time in the Liguilla (except final), teams that finished higher on the table will also qualify to the next round if the aggregate result ends in a draw (no away goals).

All complicated formats and rules aside, all-in-all, should you consider watching the Clausura 2023 Liguilla? We think so, and we have a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t even miss a game.

Why you should watch the Clausura 2023 Liguilla (Playoffs)

An underdog team’s fantasy tournament

Liga MX’s Liguilla is an underdog team’s dream.

The Liguilla bracket is designed in a way that rewards teams that finished the regular season in the higher positions by matching them up to the lowest-seeded team possible.

For example, the first stage of the Liguilla, typically, will have 1st place face off against 8th place, 2nd place face off against 7th place, 3rd place face off against 6th place, etc.

This time around, however, Liga MX will see some of the biggest mismatches in the history of the league — all worthy of potential underdog upsets.

In the quarterfinal stage, Monterrey (1st) has been matched up with Santos Laguna (13th) and América (2nd) has been matched up with Átletico San Luis (11th).

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How is this interesting, you might ask? Well, in the Repechaje — a play-in tournament that sees teams battle for a spot in the Liguilla — Santos and San Luis were able to achieve the impossible.

Santos Laguna (13th) defeated Apertura 2022 champion Pachuca (5th) and Átletico San Luis (11th) defeated current Concacaf Champions League finalist León (6th). They both did so on away soil.

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Unfair for a team with such a poor performance during the regular season to qualify? Yes. Will it happen again in the Clausura 2023 Liguilla? Most likely.

Goals, goals, goals and more goals

Liga MX’s Liguilla breathes goals.

In the last Liguilla (Apertura 2022), the 18 games of the playoffs saw a staggering 61 goals being scored, an average of 3.4 goals per game.

30 goals in eight quarterfinal games (3.75 goals per game), 13 goals in four semifinal games (3.25 goals per game) and 10 goals (yes, 10 goals) in the two-legged final (5 goals per game).

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Solely in the Clausura 2023 Repechaje stage (a play-in stage that saw eight teams play four games), we witnessed the highest-scoring game of the semester, with Pachuca and Santos Laguna participating in an eight-goal frenzy that saw Santos go through on penalties. Every Tuzo goal was answered back with one of the Guerreros’.

Also in the Repechaje, Átletico San Luis, a team that had scored three goals only once in the regular season (in the first matchday), scored three past León in the Nou Camp — a team that had only lost at home twice and that received three goals only once in the tournament.


So, considering last semester’s goal tally and this semester’s Repechaje results, it’s almost certain we’ll see goals in this Liguilla.

Rivalries and Clásicos

Liga MX’s Liguilla has heated games even before kick-off.

Every postseason of the Liga MX has the possibility of any matchup, and rivalries are always at the center of them, especially at the start of this semester’s Liguilla.

In the Clausura 2023 Liguilla, we will be treated with one of the most heated rivalries in México at the quarterfinal stage.

Chivas and Atlas (both teams from Guadalajara, Jalisco) will face off in yet another knockout game and considering their recent and historic past, the series will not disappoint. Atlas (the less succesful of the two) was crowned Liga MX Bicampeón (back-to-back champion) as recently as the Clausura 2022 — and knocked out Chivas in the quarterfinals of that tournament. Chivas, after having one of their best finishes in regular season history, will be coming with revenge.

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Monterrey and Santos (both teams from the north region of the country) will also face off in the first stage of the Liguilla and considering their heavy 2010’s rivalry, combined with Santos’ unlikely qualification to the playoffs and Monterrey’s historic regular season in points, the match promises entertainment.

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Interestingly enough, these wouldn't be the only Clásicos to be played throughout the Liguilla. A combination of results that would see Monterrey, América, Chivas and Tigres going through their respective quarterfinal matches, could set up an América-Chivas (the biggest rivalry in the country) and a Monterrey-Tigres (the biggest rivalry in the north region of the country) match up in both of the semifinals.

Enough for you to be interested? You will only have to watch to find out.

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