TAS rules for Puebla, causing a ripple in the Liga MX playoff race

Puebla TAS Liga MX

Puebla shut down Tijuana’s goleador Carlos González (C) back on Sept. 9 and finally were awarded the points for that 3-0 win that had been overturned by a bizarre Liga MX ruling. (Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images)

Liga MX table gets shuffled by a judicial ruling

News out of Switzerland, on Thursday has forced Liga MX pundits to recalculate their playoff predictions, with Puebla suddenly looking like a real spoiler.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport – based in Lausanne – ruled in favor of Puebla’s complaint over a Disciplinary Committee decision issued in September that stripped Puebla of a 3-0 victory over Tijuana due to an administrative infraction.

The Liga MX brain trust sanctioned the Camoteros over a faulty line-up app (which the league supplies) that would not allow Puebla to register its coaches before the game, resulting in an accusation that co-coach Luis Noriega was on the bench illegally.

This occurred just one week after Camoteros management had reported the glitch during Matchday 6, an error that was rectified by allowing Puebla to submit its line-up in writing.

The result basically saw Tijuana and Puebla exchange places in the Liga MX table with just one weekend in the regular season remaining. The Xolos dropped from 23 points to 20 (from 7th place to 10th place) while Puebla – now with 22 points – rose from 12th to 7th.

The new Liga MX standings now have Puebla in great position to claim a playoff berth, even possibly a first-round bye if the Camoteros manage to defeat 16th-place Cruz Azul on Sunday at Estadio Azteca.

“La Franja” is among 10 clubs battling for the final four spots in the playoffs. Six teams have assured themselves a ticket to the Liga MX postseason dance, while Puebla, Toluca, León and Tijuana are in control of their own destiny.

The Camoteros can most likely guarantee they’ll extend their season with a draw, and they’ve been playing well of late (2-1-0 with 7 goals scored in their past three contests). However, the Cementeros are still mathematically alive for a spot in the Play-In Tournament so they will not go down on Sunday without a fight.

As for Tijuana, they host 13th-place Pachuca (19 points) on Friday night. They will take the field fully aware of the outcome of the earlier Toluca (21 points) at Mazatlán (19 points) FC match but the rest of the teams fighting for the remaining spots at the Liga MX playoff table will play afterward, knowing what they’ll need to do. So the pressure will be on the Xolos to shake of the TAS decision and focus on the task at hand.