Liguilla 2021 Liga MX: TV, streaming & results for the Apertura semifinals

Liguilla 2021 Liga MX: TV, streaming & results for the Apertura semifinals

The 2021 Mexican Apertura title is up for grabs after favorite and No. 1 seed Club America was upset in the liguilla (playoff) quarterfinals by a Pumas team that has become the Cinderella of this Liga MX postseason.

At one point during the current season, Pumas were in last place in the Liga MX standings, only to mount a late push to the playoffs that involved a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 win against reigning champs Cruz Azul on the last day of the regular season. 

Pumas will now take on another surprise outfit in Atlas, which has come out of the blue to put together one of its best seasons in recent history, finishing second in the regular-season standings. One of the two teams will make it to the final, which no one predicted to start the Apertura season.

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The other semifinal pits two of the best-run Liga MX teams that have enjoyed sustained success over several seasons: It should be a tight battle between the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds Tigres and Leon. They tied 2-2 in their only meeting of the Apertura season after Leon took a 2-0 lead on the road in El Volcan.

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Wed, Dec. 1 Semi, 1st Leg: Tigres UANL vs. Leon 10 p.m. Univision, TUDN fuboTV 
Thurs, Dec. 2 Semi, 1st Leg: Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas 9 p.m. TUDN fuboTV
Sat, Dec. 4 Semi, 2nd Leg: Leon vs. Tigres UANL 10 p.m. Univision, TUDN fuboTV
Sun, Dec. 5 Semi, 2nd Leg: Atlas vs. Pumas UNAM 8 p.m. Univision, TUDN fuboTV
Thurs, Dec. 9 Final, 1st Leg:  TBD TBD Univision, TUDN fuboTV
Sun, Dec. 12 Final, 2nd Leg: TBD TBD Univision, TUDN fuboTV

Liguilla MX series tiebreaker

During the playoff quarterfinal and semifinal series, the team with the most goals scored across both games advances.

But if teams are tied on goals scored at the end of that second leg, the club that finished higher in the regular season standings will advance. In the case of the semifinals, that would be No. 3 Leon (vs. No. 4 Tigres) and No. 2 Atlas (vs. No. 11 Pumas), which would advance if they’re level on aggregate goals.

That tiebreaker rule disappears for the final, where teams will head to extra time and a penalty kick shootout, if necessary, to decide a champion.

No. 4 Tigres UANL vs. No. 3 Leon

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Wed, Dec. 1 1st Leg: Tigres UANL vs. Leon 10 p.m. Univision, TUDN fuboTV 
Sat, Dec. 4 2nd Leg: Leon vs. Tigres UANL 10 p.m. Univision, TUDN fuboTV

Two of the top teams in recent seasons were once again among the most consistent in the stretch run of the 2021 Apertura campaign, taking advantage of an established core of players that has played together for several seasons. Leon hoisted the trophy last year and Tigres did it the year prior (2019).

The two met fairly recently for the league title when they faced off for that 2019 Clausura championship, won by Tigres. The Monterrey-based side is also unbeaten in 11 straight matches in all competitions against La Fiera, with Leon’s last victory coming in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura season.  

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Head coach Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera said that he’s planning to field his regular Tigres lineup with the only doubt being the influential Guido Pizarro, who is still recovering from a knock.

Meanwhle Herrera stoked the media flames ahead of the matchup by claiming that Leon’s Argentine manager, Ariel Holan, is benefiting from the squad assembled by his Mexican predecessor, Nacho Ambriz, and that Holan has his team playing a defensive and speculative brand of soccer, especially away from home.

No. 11. Pumas UNAM vs. No. 2. Atlas

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Thurs, Dec. 2 1st Leg: Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas 9 p.m. TUDN fuboTV
Sun, Dec. 5 2nd Leg: Atlas vs. Pumas UNAM 8 p.m. Univision, TUDN fuboTV

This is the most fascinating matchup of the semifinals with the Cinderella team of the postseason, No. 11-seeded Pumas, looking to keep its magical run alive against one of the season’s top sides. No. 2-seed Atlas only lost four times during the 17-match regular season and it has its fans dreaming of an end to a 70-year title drought.

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For a team that at one point was stuck in last place in the Liga MX standings, it’s been a remarkable last month for Pumas. The players now believe they can win it all with a swashbuckling style both at home and on the road. They’ve used it to win on the road to oust both No. 5 seed Toluca (wild-card round) and hated rivals, No. 1-seed Club America (quarterfinals).

Pumas and Atlas have met in the playoffs only twice before and both meetings came in 2004 with Pumas emerging victorious in both instances (two shorter seasons are played every year in Mexico). The Mexico City-based Auriazules also enter this liguilla series on a seven-match unbeaten run in meetings against Atlas.

It’s been a while since both won a Mexican championship, though both have consistently produced top Mexican talents over the years. The seventh and most recent title for Pumas came in 2011, but it’s been 70 years since Atlas won its only title in 1951.

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