Mexico's champion soccer team, Santos Laguna, is out of the Apertura 2012 playoffs due to a combination of good results by its rivals and its own misfortune earlier this weekend against Morelia.

Morelia, coached by Argentina's Ruben Omar Romano, defeated Santos 2-0 on goals by Miguel Sabah on Friday.

Despite that loss, the current champs still remained alive with a chance to get into the playoffs, but those hopes were dashed on Saturday when Monterrey tied Cruz Azul 1-1 at home.

Argentina's Christian Gimenez scored on a spectacular header 24 minutes into play, putting the blues ahead, but Aldo de Nigris salvaged the tie with another header in minute 44 to give Monterrey 23 points and a better goal differential than Santos.

Besides the fight to get into the playoffs, this weekend's play will decide which three Mexican teams will play in the 2013 Copa Libertadores.

Leon, America and Toluca are within range of qualifying for the hemisphere-wide tournament, but Tijuana could knock out America if it beats Guadalajara on Sunday. EFE