Copa de la Liga: here’s how the teams could qualify

Boca and River have their fate in their own hands, but the groups are far from a done deal

It’s the moment of truth for Argentine football clubs as the 2024 Copa de la Liga group phase comes to a close. The two-stage competition sees the 28 First Division sides split into two groups for the first half of the Argentine football season. The top four teams from each group qualify for the playoff stage.

The final games will be played over the Sunday 14 weekend, although the exact times are yet to be confirmed. But which teams are still in with a chance, and what do they have to do to qualify?

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Group A

Leaders Argentinos Juniors will host second-placed Barracas Central, whom they are currently beating by goal difference alone. A tie would see them both qualify, while a win for either side opens a remote chance of the loser being ousted.

Therefore, group A depends on the result of one game: Talleres v. Independiente. Placed fourth and fifth with 23 and 22 points respectively, the winner will qualify regardless of other results. A tie, however, would open the door to sixth-placed Vélez Sarsfield, who will visit last placed Independiente Rivadavia, currently on 22 points.

River Plate rescued a key 2-1 win on Sunday against Rosario Central, coming back from behind. Third with 24 points, a win or draw away at Instituto is enough for the Millonario, although a loss could spell disaster if Vélez wins and there’s a winner at Talleres-Independiente.

Group B

By comparison, group B is wide open, with six teams looking to make it to the next round. The teams’ fates depend on the game between Boca Juniors and Estudiantes de La Plata, which was suspended after Javier Altamirano suffered a seizure on March 17. With 63 minutes of the match left, it could throw a spanner in the works for several teams.

Boca, currently fourth on 22 points, could secure a spot by winning either against leaders Godoy Cruz, who are already qualified, or Estudiantes. A date for the latter game has yet to be set.

Estudiantes, sixth on 21 points, needs four out of six available points to secure its place. Its last game is away at Lanús, who is second on 23 points and will be through with a win.

Third-placed Defensa y Justicia, also on 23 points but with a worse goal differential, host Newell’s Old Boys and will qualify with a win.

Racing and Newell’s are fifth and seventh on 21 points, and need other results to go their way too. They both need to win their last game (Racing away at Belgrano, Newell’s away at Defensa), and hope for points dropped by three of Estudiantes, Lanús, Defensa, Boca and the other team.


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