Mexico: 5 Things We Learned in Liga MX Weekend
The fifth date of Liga MX brought the most expected match of the tournament: Tigres vs. Tijuana.
Both squads were tied atop the table with 12 points (no defeats) and were seeking to take the outright lead.
Meanwhile, América wanted to get back to winning ways, after last weekend's surprising defeat against Atlas. Raúl Jiménez, one of the youngest members on the team, accomplished the feat.
Querétaro can practically kiss goodbye to its chances of staying in Mexico's first division.
Another team close to the relegation is León. Despite playing last season's semifinals, "Los Panzas Verdes" need to improve soon. They sit second to last with just two points.
Join me and let's find out which five things we learned in Liga MX weekend.
Courage and Guts
Raúl Jiménez scored twice in América's victory over Querétaro. The 21-year-old, who grabbed a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, is proving to be in his best moment.
Jiménez defeated Sergio García with a left-foot long-distance shot to open the score at the 15th minute.
In the second half he sent his header to the back of the net after a perfect a cross from Rubens Sambueza.
Querétaro lost 3-0 to América, therefore coach Sergio Bueno was sacked and Ignacio "Nacho" Ambríz will take over.
It is going to be a tough task for the former Mexico international because "Gallos Blancos" is the last team in the relegation table.
Experience Is a Cornerstone
Oswaldo Sánchez may be 39 years old but he is one of the best goalkeepers in Mexico.
The Santos Laguna goalie saved a penalty during the first half of the match against Pumas.
Sánchez led his team to a 0-0 draw, which put it in the sixth place of the general table; also, Santos is the second-best defense so far.
Meanwhile, Pumas is yet to win on home soil. After five weeks the club has only secured five points, three of them in a visit to Toluca.
One Tournament Is Not Enough
León was promoted last season and the club's performance was superb.
A handful of veterans and not so well-known players managed to take the team all the way to the playoffs.
Once there, "Los Panzas Verdes" defeated Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals and faced Tijuana in the semifinals. However, they lost to Xolos.
After a very honorable tournament, León signed two top players: Nery Castillo and Rafael Márquez. But the results have not been the same as in the previous season.
In Clausura 2013, Gustavo Matosas' team has lost three games and tied the other two, securing two points from 15 available. Last weekend they drew 2-2 with Cruz Azul, despite playing on home soil.
Mathematically, the club is inside the relegation zone, although Querétaro leads the way. This proves that having one good tournament is not enough for those that were promoted from Ascenso MX to Liga MX.
León has to be more aggressive and avoid childish mistakes if it wants to stay in Mexico's top league.
Rising from the Ashes
Omar Bravo and Atlas are coming back from a very dark period. The former Mexico international did not have a walk in the park with Cruz Azul but now seems to be back.
Bravo has scored three times in five games and has helped Atlas grab 10 points as the result of three wins, one defeat and one draw.
The "Zorros" need to keep the good work if they want to stay in Liga MX. They are second to last in the relegation zone.
Their three upcoming matches will not be easy: they visit Atlante, receive Monterrey and travel to Querétaro; the latter is one of the most important games as "Gallos Blancos" lead the relegation table.
Last weekend, Atlas went to Chiapas and secured three valuable points at Victor Manuel Reyna Stadium.
Tijuana and UANL portrayed the fight for the top place of the tournament in what was the most exciting game of the weekend.
Xolos visited the Estadio Universitario, one of Mexico's toughest grounds. However, Alfredo Moreno took advantage of a defensive mistake from Hugo Ayala and scored after 13 minutes of play.
Lucas Lobos received a pass from Carlos Salcido and once in front of Cirilo Saucedo tied the game with a crossed shot.
It was the first of two goals from Lobos. Tigres held the lead for eight minutes, until Danilinho failed to clear the ball and Duvier Riascos leveled the score.
The game finished in a 2-2 draw, which in all fairness should have been a victory for UANL. Tijuana did not show the same level as in previous matches.
While Tigres proved that they have more options in the attacking zone, they do not depend on Emanuel "Tito" Villa but they do need to work harder in the backbone.