Mexico: What We Learned in Liga MX Weekend

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2013

Mexico: What We Learned in Liga MX Weekend

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    The fourth date of the Liga MX was full of drama.

    América registered its first defeat of the tournament, while Tigres managed to secure a historic victory.

    The competition has picked up and after four weeks, Tijuana and Tigres have settled as the best of the tournament. Both teams remain undefeated.

    América and Cruz Azul trail closely, and have proven their commitment to qualify to the final stage (Liguilla).

    Others, like Chivas and Pumas, need to improve if they want to be in the playoffs.

    Let's see what we learned last weekend from the Liga MX...

A Worthy Defending Champion

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    Tijuana has played beautifully. Xolos are undefeated in Clausura 2013 and they have proven to be one of the toughest teams in the tournament.

    The champions have played two games on home soil (Estadio Caliente) and two more outside their turf, against Puebla (Estadio Cuauhtémoc) and UNAM (Estadio Olímpico Universitario).

    In all of its matches, Tijuana has scored first and has never lost the lead, showing two key elements: solid defense and control of the midfield.

    If coach Antonio Mohamed keeps his boys on track expect this team to accomplish a lot this season.

Enroute for a Title After 15 Years

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    Is Cruz Azul finally ready to end a run of 15 years without winning a title? Apparently it is.

    With eight points so far—two wins and two draws—the players seem confident and ready to tackle the challenge.

    Christián Giménez, Hugo Pavone and Javier Aquino have been instrumental in the team's results.

    Coach Guillermo Vázquez has managed to organize the attacking zone better than ever.

    It is time for “La Maquina” to go back into the winners' circle, something they did last in 1997.

Historic Win

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    Tigres defeated Querétaro 2-0 on Sunday. The result was enough to set the team's best start since it's been on Mexico's top league.

    Furthermore, Emmanuel Villa notched his fifth goal of the season, becoming the top-scorer of Clausura 2013.

    It's important to say that last year he played with Pumas but he only appeared in 13 games and scored three times.

    Now, with Tigres, "El Tito" has gone back to the level he showed when he played with Cruz Azul (2009-2012).

    Tigres leads the Liga MX with 12 points, and although Tijuana has the same number of units, the goal average favors the first.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

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    After losing to Querétaro and Tijuana, and having tied with Atlas, Pumas finally won its first game of the season.

    The team had gone through a dark period since Mario Carrillo took over the team in 2012. The board decided to sack him and brought back Antonio Torres Servín, who hasn't had a walk in the park.

    Last season, the squad didn't qualify to the Liguilla and the 2013 start had been terrible: one defeat and two draws.

    On Sunday, Pumas faced Toluca at Estadio Nemesio Diez, one of the toughest compounds in Mexico.

    Javier Cortés, a youngster that played with Mexico U-23 in the London Olympics, scored the only goal of the match after a fantastic individual effort.

    This is great news for the fans and the board, and will give the players a lot of confidence to keep winning.

Surprise!

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    Atlas is ruining a lot of fantasy leagues this season.

    Even when the team is fighting to stay in Mexico's top league—they sit second to last in the relegation table—and going through several problems with the IRS, they keep grabbing points.

    Last weekend, Omar Bravo, who was recently transferred from Cruz Azul to Atlas, was a cornerstone for the team in the match against América. He scored his third goal in four matches.

    "Las Águilas" played better and even scored first. However, Christian Benítez, Narciso Mina and Rubens Sambueza smashed their shots in the posts at least once.

    Meanwhile, Atlas took advantage of its few opportunities and tied the game just as the second half had started.

    Finally, Bravo scored a penalty kick to give his team three points at Estadio Jalisco.