The Relegation Hot Zone: Five teams battle to avoid the drop with one surprising team making the list
The Liga MX Clausura 2016 Tourney is the definitive season for relegation. Relegation in the Liga Mx is based upon a percentage table that is calculated by games played and how many points were obtained.
The lowest team on the percentage table is the one who drops down into second division to pave the way for the promoting team. The bottom 5 places on the percentage table are extremely tight, with each team having either a slim/high chance of surivival or vice versa. Here’s an overview on the five team in the danger zone of relegation.
Dorados, The fish swimming against current
“The message is to not go down (to second division), the message is to reach Liguilla (play-offs), one situation gives to the other.”- Luis Fernando Suarez (Dorados Head Coach)
Dorados is in the hottest spot in the percentage table, started the season with a loss and have the less talented squad, yet Mr. Suarez has the audacity to state that Liguilla is their main objective. The fight is NOT to get into Liguilla primarily, but to rise in the percentage table and avoid relegation.
Assuming that simply by being in Liguilla spots saves you is absolutely wrong. In the Clausura 2013, Queretaro finished the season in 8th place of the general table and qualified for the Liguilla. However, since they finished last in the percentage chart the ‘Gallos Blancos’ were relegated and lost their playoffs spot.
Therefore, Dorados mindset should change from entering Liguilla to obtaining the maximum amount of points this season. Their game against Chiapas was good ,but good won’t be enough this season for them. Priorities are wrong at Sinaloa, the future looks bleak ,however there is much of the season and much can happen from here to until the final whistle on Matchday 16.
Morelia, playing against 12?
“The past tournament we suffered the unpleasantries of the referee’s, but my style isn’t to complain. Today’s was obvious and disgusting, but honestly i don’t like to talk about the referee’s, instead i like to help them” – Enrique Meza (Morelia’s Head Coach)
In a season where Morelia (17th) is right above Dorados (18th) in the percentage table and relegation seems close, it seems that Morelia’s biggest enemy is the referee’s. The referee’s could in no doubt play a huge part in this season’s biggest loser. Refereeing in Mexico has become extremely polemic to a point where their decisions directly affect games.
The referee mistake in Morelia’s game against Cruz Azul could have been a harsh blow in the percentage chart had it not been for the ‘Monarchs’ equalizing and rescuing a point. Morelia had a very good game against Cruz Azul giving their fans faith that they can avoid the drop.
Morelia has a decent team and a more than qualified Head Coach that will in no doubt obtain enough points to move up in the percentage table. Points are valuable for Morelia and if it wasn’t hard enough to play against eleven players, Morelia will have to be on the lookout of referee’s and their mediocre displays. One can only wonder if the referee’s this season can cost Morelia only this game or the whole season?
Chivas, awakening the sleeping…. goat?
“The result is unfair, i think Chivas deserved the three points, they looked for it, took advantage of the extra man because they had the possession of the ball, pushing the rival in their own half and creating scoring chances”- Matias Almeyda (Head coach of Chivas)
Chivas showed dominance in their opening game against a resilient Veracruz that played one man down. That said, the result was fair. Chivas did not know how to make the most of their home-field and numerical advantage. Instead, Chivas looked better against 11-man Veracruz than a 10-man Veracruz.
Veracruz does deserve merit for knowing how to close down the game and being effective in their attacks, something Chivas wasn’t. However, Chivas did give glimpses of hope for their fans. Chivas’ pre-season signings were quick to bring results with Orbelin Pineda assisting Carlos Peña’s first goal for the club.
There is much to be excited about at Guadalajara. The team has enormous amount of talent and potential at their disposal. Although their main objective is to climb out of the percentage hot seat the ‘Goats’ can become a contender for the title.
Puebla, one of the league’s underdogs
“The absolute priority is to fight the percentage issue which is definitive, afterwards think about Libertadores and Liguilla”- Pablo Marini (Puebla Head Coach)
Puebla is a team that has it’s priorities straight and it’s football even straighter. Despite being a very limited squad, exploited to their maximum potential by Pablo Marini, the ‘Camoteros’ will look to replicate last season’s performance to move up in the percentage table.
It will be a busy season for Puebla as they now have Copa Libertadores to deal with while the threat of relegation looms behind them. Already, Puebla started the season on the right foot taking a very valuable tie against Club America at the Azteca stadium.
Puebla could have even won the game but the ‘Aguilas’ on-form keeper Moises Munoz managed to prevent the ‘Camoteros’ from embarrassing his side. Puebla only needs 20 points to secure their stay in the top flight. Twenty points that will in no doubt come to Puebla if they keep up their amazing football and great mindset.
Tijuana, does Miguel’s bark equal his bite?
“There is still much work to be done”- Miguel Herrera (Tijuana Head Coach)
The ‘Xolos’ of Tihuana are the surprise team in the relegation hot seat. Although, Tijuana is 14th in the percentage table and unlikely to get relegated a terrible season would push Xolos to the depths of the percentage chart.
Last season they managed to only earn 16 points, one more than last placed Dorados. While Tijuana’s main objective is Liguilla they can not ignore the fact that they are in an awkward position in the percentage table.
Miguel Herrera has been relegated before with Veracruz in 2008 and he’ll hope to avoid any of that pressure throughout the season. Herrera’s Tijuana looked a bit below average against Pachuca on Matchday 1 and will hope to ease up the pressure with a win against Dorados. Herrera will need some time at Tijuana to really implement his strategy and once he does the team can leave the percentage table in the past and look towards the future of fighting for the league championship.
Written by Luis Molano
Luis is a Liga Mx blogger and part time ranter. Always up for soccer debate!
Follow him on Twitter @Lu__Molano