Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Perplexing InterLiga formula has its upside
by Ridge Mahoney, January 9th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mexico

MOST COMMENTED

[INTERLIGA] Winner of its first two group games, San Luis squandered a chance to capture the Group B title outright when it lost, 1-0, to Monterrey Tuesday at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. But it won the group anyway, when Cruz Azul broke a second-place tie with UNAM by beating Pumas, 1-0, in the nightcap.

Both goals came early and on balls played right through or over the central defenders. Humberto Suazo tapped a bouncing ball over the keeper's head in the 12th minute for Monterrey, and Nicolas Vigneri slotted into an empty net after rounding the goalie in the 14th minute to give Cruz Azul its second straight Interliga victory after playing seven matches without a win.

San Luis had already clinched a spot in the finals by accumulating six points but by losing could have helped its prospects of advancing to the Copa Libertadores.

Under a weird formula used to determine the two InterLiga qualifiers, the twin finals to be played Saturday at HDC are designated 'Mexico 2' and 'Mexico 3.' (One of the three slots for Mexican teams is allotted to Guadalajara, the 2006 Apertura winner, as 'Mexico 1.')

One InterLiga final winner is designated as 'Mexico 2' and goes straight into the Copa Libertadores group phase, while the other, as 'Mexico 3,' faces a two-game playoff against Bolivian club La Paz FC to qualify for the tournament proper. Yes, that's the same La Paz that lies more than two miles high in the Andean sky.

Ah, but there's a catch: The InterLiga Group A winner takes on the Group B runner-up, and the winner of that game is 'Mexico 2' in the Libertadores. The Group B winner can do no better than beat the Group A runner-up and be designated as 'Mexico 3.'

San Luis and Cruz Azul finished tied with six points, but with a superior goal difference, San Luis captured the Group B title. It will play the Group A runner-up at HDC in one of Saturday's finals with Cruz Azul facing the Group A champion.

Club America (2-0-0, 6 points) leads the group and plays second-place Atlas (1-0-1, 4 points) Wednesday at 11:15 p.m. ET following a match between Toluca (0-1-1, 1 point) and eliminated Morelia (0-2-0, 0 points) at 9 p.m. Both matches will be televised live on Fox Sports en Espanol.

Toluca (goal difference minus-1) can advance only by if Atlas loses and it beats Morelia to surpass Atlas (plus 2) on goal difference.
'Mexico 2' is bound for Group 5 with Union San Martin (Peru), Universidad Catolica (Chile) and River Plate (Argentina).

A tough task, yet far more preferable than an arduous trip to the Andes with no assurance of advancement. Yet maybe battling through the toughest course is the best preparation for a rugged Copa Libertadores campaign.

Last year, Necaxa won Interliga Group A and beat Chiapas, 1-0, to qualify for the Libertadores. It won its group to reach the round of 16, in which it lost to Uruguayan legend Nacional, 4-2.

In the 'minor' InterLiga final, Club America topped UNL on penalties, 4-2, knocked off Peruvian club Sporting Cristal, 6-2, in a two-leg playoff, advanced out of group play by finishing second, and eventually reached the quarterfinals, where it lost, 2-1, on aggregate to Santos of Brazil.

Toluca had qualified directly for the 2007 Copa Libertadores as Apertura 2005 champion and also won its first-round group, yet it lost badly to Colombian club Cucuta Deportivo, 5-3 on aggregate, in the round of 16.

So the team that had most difficult path to the Copa Libertadores, Club America, eventually advanced further than the team that qualified directly as a league champion, Toluca, and the Interliga winner, Necaxa.

Saturday's finals and the subsequent showings by Mexican teams in the 2008 Copa Libertadores will likely supply yet another entry to the intriguing history of the InterLiga.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
NCAA Division I Women's Tournament Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] South Carolina knocked off No. 2 seed, 1-0, getting a first-half goal from Raina ...
U.S. Abroad: Weekend Hot (and Cold) List    
Aron Johannsson scored his first goal in more than seven months for AZ in its 1-0 ...
WFC2 to set up shop on UBC campus    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The Vancouver Whitecaps became the seventh MLS club to launch a second team in ...
Youth Boys Report: U.S. U-17s take third in Chile    
The U.S. under-17 national team fell to Brazil, 4-3, in its second game at the Copa ...
Youth Boys Report: Brazil edges U.S. U-17s in thriller    
The U.S. under-17 national team fell to Brazil, 4-3, in its second game at the Copa ...
NCAA Division I Men's Tournament Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] Xavier upset No. 5 Indiana, 2-1, on goals by Matt Vasquenza and Will Walker ...
NCAA Division I Women's Tournament Scoreboard    
[SCHEDULE: Friday] The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the second round at regional sites ...
NCAA Division I Men's Tournament Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Thursday] San Diego converted penalty kicks in the 89th and 103rd minutes from Keegan Smith ...
Toronto FC becomes sixth MLS club to launch second team    
[USL PRO] A sixth MLS club announced plans to enter a second team in USL PRO ...
A glimpse into the thinking of Sounders' brain trust    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The closest thing any MLS club is to a European-style members club, like Barcelona ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives