By JOEY SAMUEL
A wild weekend that included several major upsets concluded Sunday night in Mexico, where the four semifinal places in the Apertura playoffs were set.
Chivas de Guadalajara, despite finishing first in the regular season standings, could not overturn the deficit from their shocking 2-1 loss to Queretaro from last week. Despite playing in front of their home fans at Estadio Omnilife, Chivas were ousted in the first round and Queretaro won a playoff series for the first time in team history as the teams played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night.
Also on Saturday, Cruz Azul once again disappointed in the playoffs after a solid regular season when they were defeated at home, 2-1, by Monarcas Morelia. After Morelia posted a 2-1 home victory last week, they duplicated the result at Estadio Azul to take down second-seeded Cruz Azul, who continue their history of let-downs in the postseason.
On Sunday, things were less shocking as Santos Laguna earned a 2-1 home win over Jaguares to advance 4-3 on aggregate. Then, Tigres de la UANL cruised to a 3-0 win over Pachuca, winning the series 4-0 overall.
With the top two teams in the league eliminated, the semifinal matchups are set. Eighth-seeded Queretaro will face third-seeded Tigres in one series, while the other will feature seventh-seeded Morelia against fourth-seeded Santos Laguna.
Here are some other stories to keep your Monday going:
AUSTRALIAN CHIEF NOT CONVINCED ABOUT QATAR 2022
When the host for the 2022 World Cup was announced last December, many soccer fans in the United States and Australia felt dejected. But now, a new report says there may yet be hope.
Australia's top soccer official isn't convinced that the 2022 World Cup will go forward as planned in Qatar, the article claims. He says "the last word hasn't been been heard yet" on Qatar's hosting duties, but did not cite specific reasons for why the small Arab country would lose their rights to host.
Since being awarded the event, Qatar has come under allegations of corruption and bribery in the months preceding the decision. Their promise to create air-conditioned stadiums have also come under skepticism.
AEG WEIGH OFFER OF EXECUTIVE POSITION TO BECKHAM
England's Daily Star has published a report today asserting that David Beckham will be offered a vice president position in AEG in an attempt to keep him in the United States.
Beckham, who is also reportedly weighing a highly lucrative offer from Paris Saint-Germain, has expressed a desire to captain Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics. This offer from AEG would likely take away that opportunity.
The report claims that his wife Victoria has told Beckham that she wishes to remain in the United States, where her career is doing well and their kids are flourishing. Beckham would become an executive in the largest sports and entertainment company in the world. According to the report, AEG wants to make Beckham a "globe-trotting ambassador" and boss Tim Leiweke feels he could spearhead an effort to get an NFL stadium built in Los Angeles.
BRAZILIAN MANCINI JAILED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
Between 2003 and 2008, Brazilian winger Mancini scored 40 league goals in 154 Serie A for Roma before being a marquee signing of Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan. Now, he sits in a jail cell after being found guilty of sexual assault in an Italian court.
After periods of inconsistency with Inter Milan and then cross-town rivals AC Milan, Mancini returned to his native Brazil to play for Atletico Mineiro. He was accused of assaulting a Brazilian woman while still playing for AC Milan last year, and on Monday was found guilty and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
What do you think about these developments? Who do you see winning the Apertura title in Mexico? Is there a chance of Qatar losing its hosting rights? Is a VP position enough to keep Beckham in America?
Share your thoughts below.