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America eye playoffs in Clasico Nacional

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Liga MX
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Club America are stalking first-place Tijuana, while Pachuca are in freefall

Michael Arroyo provided the only goal America needed to beat Santos and help his team move up two spots in this week's Power Rankings.

Last weekend, Club Tijuana proved that Los Xolos are still the team to beat in the Liga MX, while Chivas may have proved that Los Rojiblancos should continue to deserve a spot in the league.

Over in Morelia, La Monarquia helped Leones Negros continue its rapid ascension at the same time that Puebla has started to stumble in the relegation race.

Here are the updated power rankings for the 2015 Liga MX Clausura:

1. Club Tijuana (no change)

Before the start of the Club Tijuana vs Veracruz match, Los Tiburones Rojos had only given up four goals all season. After the game, that number nearly doubled after Los Xolos comfortably won 3-1 at home. With the stellar offense going forward, Tijuana is the current best team in the league.

2. America (+2)

Despite justifiable worries about America's attack, Las Aguilas have still pulled off positive results. The Mexico City team has only lost one game in its last eight matches and scraped by with a 1-0 win over Santos last Saturday.

3. Veracruz (-1)

Everybody makes mistakes, it just took 10 matches for Veracruz to finally make one. There's no shame in losing to the best Liga MX team, which happened to be playing at home. Bouncing back might be difficult though, Veracruz's next opponent is America.

4. Leones Negros (+1)

Last Friday, Ecuadorian striker Fidel Martinez scored his second straight game-winning goal and stretched Leones Negros' winning-streak to three games. A few more wins may move the club out of the relegation race, and into a likely spot for the playoffs.

5. Chivas (+5)

Thanks to Erick "Cubo" Torres' two late goals, Chivas pushed back against Puebla and secured a crucial 2-1 win last Saturday. Chivas aren't safe from relegation just yet, but they have taken one step in the right direction to avoid it.

Erick Torres scored twice in 30 minutes to help Chivas top Puebla.

6. Puebla (-3)

Puebla should be applauded for the mid-season sprint it has had in results, but La Franja recently faltered when the club most needed a win. The loss to Chivas could be the difference maker in the relegation race at the end of the season.

7. Atlas (+1)

Atlas had less possession and shots at home against Monterrey, but scored two late goals to secure the squad's first win since last month. The three points gained over the weekend pushed Los Zorros back into a playoff spot at fifth place.

8. Cruz Azul (-2)

Cruz Azul had a fantastic start against Leon last weekend with an early two goal lead, but failed to hold on to what could have been the club's first win since Feb. 13. Things won't get any easier for La Maquina this Saturday when they take on Tijuana.

9. Tigres (+4)

Tigres is finally scoring again. The Monterrey squad has scored six goals in its last three games and has gained six points through that run. Brazilian striker Rafael Sobis has lead the charge with a goal in each of the last three matches and could help push Tigres into playoff spot.

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10. Leon (+1)

Credit must be given to Leon for fighting back in the second half against Cruz Azul. Los Panzas Verdes were down 2-0 by the 20th minute but equalized the score by the end of the game. Star midfielder Luis Montes scored his first goal of the season and could help motivate the team with his presence back on the pitch.

New Monterrey manager Antonio Mohamed has guided his previous two Liga MX clubs, Tijuana and Club America, to league titles.
Monterrey manager Antonio Mohamed has had mixed results since taking over the team at the start of this Clausura.

11. Monterrey (-2)

Since taking over Monterrey, manager Antonio "Turco" Mohamed has had mixed results with the team. Los Rayados seemed to have the slight advantage over Atlas but failed to score until the 90th minute. Mohamed may still need more time to influence Los Rayados.

12. Pachuca (-5)

Pachuca could be forgiven slightly for having to take on Club Tijuana, America, and Tigres, but Los Tuzos have still only gained one point during those last three matches. Against Tigres over the weekend, Pachuca could only muster two shots on target.

13. Toluca (+1)

Thanks to a late red card given to Queretaro's George Corral in the 81st minute, Toluca was given the advantage and scored the game-winning goal in injury time. The 1-0 win has kept Los Diablos Rojos undefeated at home.

14. Pumas (+2)

Perhaps the threat of a possible firing of Guillermo Vazquez has inspired the manager to collect two wins in a row with Pumas. Although defeating Morelia is no arduous task, overcoming Los Jaguares in their home stadium is something to be proud of.

15. Chiapas (-3)

Chiapas has now only gained one win in its last seven league matches. The loss to Pumas in the Estadio Victor Manuel Reyna should be a wake-up call for Los Jaguares, who have had underwhelming performances during the past two months.

Ronaldinho gave Chivas a samba footballing lesson in his 79 minutes on the pitch.
It might be time to admit that the Ronaldinho experiment at Queretaro is a failure.

16. Santos Laguna (-1)

Santos Laguna lost a few crucial players over the winter and is still adapting to the changes within the squad. Los Guerreros didn't have a single shot on net against America last Saturday and have truly struggled in the attack this Clausura.

17. Queretaro (no change)

Queretaro nearly had a vital away point against Toluca, but went down to 10 men late in the match. Los Gallos Blancos eventually lost the match 1-0, their fourth loss in their last five games. If this form continues, Queretaro could be thrown into the relegation race late in the Clausura.

18. Morelia (no change)

Interim manager Roberto Hernandez garnered Morelia's first league win on Feb. 27, but has since gone on to lose the next two matches. La Monarquia have been abysmal this year and are on their way to having one of their worst-ever seasons.

Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.

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