4 Teams battling for remaining semi-final berth in Guatemalan soccer playoffs

Kener Lemus from Comunicaciones playing against Bryan Lemus from Municipal Oct.31, 2018, at a match in the National Guatemalan League between Municipal and Comunicaciones, at the Doreteo Guamuch stadium, in the city of Guatemala (Guatemala). EPA- EFE FILE/Gabriel Baldizón

With three games remaining before the playoffs in Guatemalan soccer’s Apertura 2018 championship, four teams are still in the hunt for one of two direct berths in the semi-finals.

The top two teams in the standings will book direct semi-final berths, while the teams that end the regular season in spots three through six will begin the postseason in the quarter-finals.

Xelaju, Coban Imperial, Malacateco and Comunicaciones all have a chance to join first-place Guastatoya (41 points), the only team thus far to have clinched a spot in the final four of the postseason.

Comunicaciones will be looking for the win when it hosts Guastatoya, winner of last season’s Clausura title, in Matchday 20 of 22 action on Saturday night at Mateo Flores Stadium.

The fifth-place Cremas (31 points), who failed to make the postseason in the 2018 Clausura, are on track to secure a postseason berth but can go one step further and book a direct spot in the semis by climbing into second place.

Xelaju currently occupies the second spot with 33 points and will face off against eighth-place Siquinala on Saturday night, while third-place Coban Imperial (32 points) will visit 11th-place Sanarate earlier that day.

Fourth-place Malacateco will square off on Sunday afternoon against visiting Municipal, which is in seventh place and still very much in the running for a postseason spot.

Like Comunicaciones, Municipal also failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2018 Clausura.