Marco Antonio Palacios, playing for Pumas UNAM.

Mexican Primera 2011 Apertura, Week 15: Chivas, Pumas Grab Big Wins To Solidify Liguilla Spots

Every single game matters in Round 15 of the Mexican Primera's 2011 Apertura. All 18 teams are still alive in the playoff hunt, with not even first placed Chivas locked into a Liguilla place.

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Mexican Primera Division, 2011 Apertura: Jornada 15 Recap, Pumas And Tijuana Grab Big Wins

The Mexican Primera Division, 2011 Apertura tournament is now two rounds away from completion, and we're not really any closer to knowing what the Liguilla field is going to look like after the completion of Jornada 15. Second bottom Club America is all but done after only managing a draw against Santos Laguna, but they're still not mathematically out of the playoffs. Chivas Guadalajara is locked in, but everyone else can easily take a massive drop. Here are all the results.

Previous match reports

Monarcas Morelia 2-2 Pachuca

Chivas Guadalajara 1-0 UANL Tigres

Cruz Azul 0-0 Toluca

Toluca went negative on the road. Surprise! La Celeste Machina is in seriously rough shape and might miss Liguilla if they're not careful. Their defense finally looks decent, but they have just one goal scored and no wins in their last three games. Toluca currently sit outside of Liguilla places, but only by one point.

Monterrey 2-0 Atlas

I, like many, started to entertain the thought that Monterrey were not one of the eight best sides in Mexico and that they were no longer favorites to qualify for Liguilla. I forgot that they had a match against Club Atlas at home remaining on their schedule. Whoops! The Rayados now sit in eighth, one point clear of a sea of teams below them. Also, Humberto Suazo finally scored a goal, guys!

Puebla 2-1 Estudiantes Tecos

Herculez Gomez and DaMarcus Beasley both played 90 minutes in this one. America! Puebla are now just two points out of a Liguilla place with this win. Tecos were never really in it, but got a stoppage time consolation goal from 'Pony' Rodrigo Ruiz. He is 39-years-old and is the leading assist-maker for Tecos this year. Can't make this stuff up.

San Luis 2-1 Queretaro

San Luis are now just one point out of Liguilla thanks to this win, while Queretaro's loss has them only a tenth of a point above the drop in the relegation coefficients. 'Bofo' Adolofo Bautista made a substitute appearance for the Gallos Blancos, but failed to score. The once lethal Mexican international has now gone over 600 days without scoring a goal in the Mexican Primera.

Santos Laguna 1-1 Club America

Both goals came in the first six minutes of this 1-1 draw, but I promise you, it was a heck of a lot more entertaining than that makes it sound. Darwin Quintero scored the opener, assisted by Jose Cardenas, but Santos was quickly answered by a great goal from Daniel Montenegro. Both teams had chances to take the lead with penalties, but Christian Benitez missed one for America in the 53rd minute before Quintero missed a chance to give his team all three points with a penalty miss in stoppage time. America's Vicente Sanchez was sent off in the 85th minute and this game featured less defense than the scoreboard suggests.

UNAM Pumas 1-0 Atlante

Pumas sit in third in the table after their win over Atlante, while the Potros are now in serious danger of missing Liguilla, as they sit down in 15th. Of course, because the table is so whack, they're only actually three points out of a playoff spot. Martin Bravo scored the winner for Pumas, but they'll be without Fernando Espinoza next week, as he picked up a second yellow card and was sent off in the 88th minute.

Tijuana 2-0 Jaguares Chiapas

Suddenly, the Xolos are converting their spectacular home support into big home wins. They got their second straight home win on Wednesday night, defeating now fifth placed Jaguares Chiapas. The match was close until Ricardo Esqueda of Jaguares was sent off in the 56th minute, but it was all Xolos from then on out. Jose Sand scored in the 58th minute, and Richard Ruiz sealed the victory with a goal in the 77th.

For more on the Mexican Primera and Mexican football in general, check out SB Nation's Mexican futbol blog FMF State Of Mind.

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Chivas Guadalajara Vs. UANL Tigres, 2011 Apertura: Alberto Medina Keeps Goats Top

Chivas Guadalajara have become the first team in the Mexican Primera to mathematically clinch a Liguilla spot, thanks to their 1-0 win over UANL Tigres on Wednesday that put them top of the table by four points and eight points clear of ninth place with two rounds remaining. Alberto Medina scored the game-winning goal, an absolute stunner from 20 yards out, but Chivas were more or less gifted the advantage in a fairly even match.

Tigres central midfielder Manuel Viniegra was sent off in the 25th minute for a terrible tackle on Marco Fabian, forcing his team to play the remainder of the match with 10 men. The visitors did not look the obviously inferior team with 10 men, though, and kept the match closer than it should have been throughout the first half. However, Medina put his team up for good in the 51st minute, and Chivas held on to seal three points in a 1-0 victory.

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Monarcas Morelia Vs. Pachuca, 2011 Apertura: Exciting Game Ends In 2-2 Draw

The tight Liguilla race isn't going to be getting any more clear anytime soon, if Tuesday night's match between Pachuca and Monarcas Morelia is any indication. With Pachuca just inside the playoffs and Morelia just outside with a game in hand on the field, the two sides played to an entertaining 2-2 draw at Estadio Morelos, where the home side is still struggling to get wins.

Both teams' defending and goalkeeping was questionable all night long, and the score is a pretty fair reflection of the play, though both teams could have scored more. Pachuca keeper Carlos Castillo was caught well out of position on Morelia's 6th minute opener, with Luis Sandoval floating a cross to the back post for Edgar Lugo to nod into the net easily. Pachuca would equalize in the 34th minute, with Felix Borja tapping in a cross from Mauro Cejas.

Pachuca's Elias Hernandez put his team ahead with a long-range strike in the 60th minute, but the goalkeeping by Federico Vilar was laughable. He was caught completely out of position and let the ball bounce right in front of him, then past him and into the back of the net.

Morelia found a dramatic equalizer, though, with Angel Sanchez running past the porous Pachuca defense onto a through ball from Edgar Lugo before finishing past Castillo in the 80th minute, splitting the points. 

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