Cándido Ramírez is set to miss a second straight season with a persistent knee injury. Ramírez missed the Clausura 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL in November 2016, and he is now set to remain sidelined after undergoing a second knee surgery.
Ramírez, 24, re-injured himself in preseason, where a hyper-extension of his knee led to injuries to both his lateral meniscus and medial meniscus, as well as a re-torn ACL.
Atlas didn’t only lose their quarterfinal series to rivals Chivas de Guadalajara, they also lost defender Leiton Jiménez for at least the next six months.
Jiménez, 28, was injured in Sunday’s second leg against Chivas, resulting in his early substitution in the first half. Imaging studies have revealed that he suffered both a torn ACL and a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Chivas de Guadalajara earned a 1-0 home victory against Atlas in the second leg of this Clásico Tapatío quarterfinal series. That win knotted the aggregate at 1-1, and with no away goals in play to serve as tiebreaker, Chivas advanced as the higher seed – third to Atlas’s sixth.
The hosts came out attacking as they looked to overturn the narrow first-leg deficit, and Chivas had the ball in the back of the net within the opening minute. However, Alan Pulido’s would-be goal was disallowed for offside.
In the first leg of this Clásico Tapatío quarterfinal series, Atlas made their home-field advantage count with a 1-0 victory against Chivas de Guadalajara.
The visitors had the first dangerous chance through Javier López, but his shot grazed the post. Then Chivas was forced into an early substitution after an injury to Jair Pereira saw him leave the game in the 15th minute. His replacement, Michael Pérez, was then called for a foul in the box in the 28th minute, which gave Atlas a penalty kick.
The eight finalists are known and the seeds are set. Tijuana, Monterrey, Chivas de Guadalajara, Toluca, Santos Laguna, Atlas, Tigres UANL, and Monarcas Morelia will now face off for the Clausura 2017 title.
The quarterfinals will begin this week, with the first legs this Wednesday and Thursday and the return legs coming over the weekend. There are two clásicos in this round, with Monterrey and Tigres facing off in the Clásico Regio and Chivas and Atlas contesting the Clásico Tapatío.
Atlas booked their spot in the playoffs with a 1-2 away victory against América on Saturday night. The result extends the Rojinegros’ unbeaten streak to six games, while the Águilas have now lost two in a row, as well as losing their season-long unbeaten streak in the Azteca.
The visitors opened the scoring very early, with Leiton Jiménez getting around Edson Álvarez and heading home a corner kick in just the third minute. That marked the first time this season that América had allowed a goal at home.
Atlas extended their home unbeaten streak to five games with a 1-0 victory against Pachuca. The Tuzos are now winless in six and goalless in the same span, although tonight they had the excuse of resting a number of starters with an eye towards Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League final.
The first half was a largely even affair, with both teams looking to strengthen their positioning in the playoff race. The visitors had the first clear chance in the 28th minute, when Hirving Lozano found Erick Aguirre in the box, but Brayan Garnica was there to clear the ball with the goalkeeper beaten.
Santos Laguna took the early lead but Atlas scored late to tie it as this game finished 1-1. The result leaves both teams winless in two, but Atlas remains unbeaten at home in four and Santos is unbeaten in five overall.
The visitors took the lead in the 8th minute when Walter Sandoval took the ball into the box, got it back from Julio César Furch, and shot past Miguel Ángel Fraga to make it 0-1.