Mexico: Weekly Liga MX Roundup
After six dates, Tigres leads the competition with 16 points. Ricardo Ferreti's team is by far the best in every line.
It has the best offense, with 15 goals, and one of the strongest defenses having allowed only four goals.
América tracks the northern team closely. "Las Águilas" are back in the winners' circle after defeating Xolos in their visit to Tijuana.
Chiapas, San Luis and León continued their winless streak. They are the only clubs in the competition that have yet to win.
Atlas is the revelation of the tournament. Another victory for the "Zorros", this time in front of Atlante, put the club inside the top eight.
Join me in this Liga MX roundup...
Morelia vs León
The first 45 minutes of this match were far from spectacular. Morelia and León were too cautious.
It was until the second half that Sergio Santana opened the score after a foul that resulted in a penalty for “Monarcas”.
Despite it all, León reacted and kept creating opportunities but when the team was going through its best moment Juan Ignacio González was sent off after tackling Aldo Leao from behind.
The “Panzas Verdes” fought hard, and in all fairness they deserved to tie the game.
Morelia did not show much, and despite securing three points it is clear that there is a long road ahead of the club.
Coach Rubén Omar Romano needs to work in a better strategy, one that gives the team more depth.
Result: Morelia 1-0
Cruz Azul vs UNAM
Just when it seemed that Cruz Azul had left its inconsistencies behind, “Pumas” managed to draw the game at Estadio Azul.
The home team got lucky at the 22th minute after a polemic foul. Marco Palacios tackled Gerardo Torrado inside the box.
It seemed a fair play, but the referee conceded a penalty. Mariano Pavone scored for Cruz Azul.
UNAM put “La Máquina” in distress more than once, and it was 24-year-old Eduardo Herrera who tied the game in the first minute of the second half.
Herrera volleyed a cross from Javier Cortés in style, leaving José de Jesús Corona without a chance.
“Pumas” kept trying and finally showed a better football than in previous dates. Meanwhile Cruz Azul decided to park the bus and opted to grab one point.
With the result, “La Máquina” holds a 10-month record without losing on home soil.
Result: 1-1 draw
Querétaro vs Chiapas
Querétaro did not take advantage of playing on its own turf and barely tied the match.
"Jaguares" traveled all the way from Chiapas in hopes of winning its first match of the season. Although the local team played better, the lack of depth and creativity were instrumental in the final score.
The first goal came from the visiting side at the 41st minute. Querétaro did not surrender and the effort was rewarded at the 83rd.
Amaury Escoto, who had been in the pitch for seven minutes, took advantage of a rebound and sent the ball to the back of the net.
This result does not help "Gallos Blancos" at all. The club is still at the bottom of the relegation table, while Atlas (second to last) has been relentless this season.
Result: 1-1 draw
Monterrey vs Guadalajara
Guadalajara secured its first victory of the tournament over Rayados. The local team had at least two clear goal opportunities but the strikers lacked forcefulness.
Monterrey lost its undefeated streak on home soil at the hands of Rafael Márquez Lugo, who went on a one-on-one with Ricardo Osorio.
The Chivas striker dribbled the defender easily and found himself in front of Jonathan Orozco. Márquez sent a powerful right-foot shot to base of the post.
Humberto Suazo and Neri Cardozo tried hard to level the score. The latter put one ball in the crossbar and another one in Luis Ernesto Michel’s feet.
Monterrey should have won this match. It is clear that the club has a lot to adjust in the attacking zone.
Guadalajara must work as a team instead of waiting that an individual effort tilts the scales in its favor.
Result: Guadalajara 0-1
Tijuana vs América
América accomplished what seemed impossible: defeating “Xolos”.
The Águilas went to Estadio Caliente to face Tijuana in what promised to be the best match of the weekend.
Osvaldo Martínez opened the score after the referee called a foul inside the box over Christian Benítez. By that time América had not had a clear opportunity.
At the 21st minute, Rubens Sambueza was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
As if that was not enough, Aquivaldo Mosquera was also sent off in the first half, and it seemed a perfect opportunity for the local team to overturn the score.
Fidel Martínez and Raúl Enríquez had the best chances for Xolos, but both failed in their tries. Surprisingly, it was Miguel Herrera’s side that added another goal to its count in the second half.
Paul Aguilar received a pass from Raúl Jiménez and shot from outside the box to defeat Cirilo Saucedo.
At the 75th minute, Pablo Aguilar took advantage of a defensive error and gave Tijuana hope.
However, Moisés Muñoz stopped all of Xolos' attempts. Richard Ruíz had the clearest chance during the injury time but the Águilas keeper saved his team rejecting the ball with his foot.
With this defeat Tijuana lost its undefeated status and now sits second on the general table.
América has played great football and is one of the best teams of the tournament. The manager has done a great job so far and the squad seems to be more united than ever.
Result: América 1-2
Atlas vs Atlante
Atlas keeps getting better and stays further from relegation. Last Saturday the Zorros grabbed a historic win in front of Atlante.
Tomás Boy’s team scored the first goal of the match at the 5th minute. Ricardo Bocanegra shot from outside the box; the ball changed its trajectory after hitting Jair Barrraza on the thigh.
Atlas continued pushing a very weak rival that could barely send some crosses and shoots from Francisco “Kikín” Fonseca.
Twenty minutes after the start of the second half “Potros” tied the game. Luis Venegas headed a corner kick that Atlas defender Facundo Erpen deflected and sent straight to his own goal.
But the match was not over yet. Édson Rivera, who played the 2011 U-20 FIFA World Cup, chipped Venegas and manged to volley the ball just outside the box. The Atlante keeper could not do much.
It was a pretty special goal for Rivera. His mother died Jan. 28 due to a cardiac arrest,and he dedicated his first Liga MX goal to her by raising his arms to the sky.
This result gives Atlas its best season-start since the Apertura 2002, when the team also grabbed 13 points after six dates.
Despite being second to last in the relegation table, the Zorros are seven points ahead of Querétaro, which sit at the bottom.
Result: Atlas 2-1
San Luis vs Puebla
San Luis has yet to win in the Clausura 2013. Eduardo Fentanes team lost to Puebla despite playing on home soil.
Puebla’s Félix Borja scored in the first minute of the match, which resulted in confusion for the Reales.
Twelve minutes later, Alán Zamora sent a corner kick that Ricardo Jiménez put in back of the net with a powerful header.
The draw persisted until the 80th minute. Both teams were tired as this was one of the most demanding games of the weekend. It was clear that a change in the score would only come with an individual effort.
Isaac Romo sent a cross to DaMarcus Beasley. The Unites States international chested the ball and defeated Óscar Pérez.
Beasley surprised the San Luis keeper again, this time at the 87th minute. Borja sent a forward pass that DaMarcus kicked with the right foot.
Justice was done as Puebla dominated the match from beginning to end. The club is slowly getting into the top spots of the general table, and the improvement and understanding between the players is undeniable.
Result: Puebla 1-3
Toluca vs UANL
Tigres is unstoppable. Along with Cruz Azul, it is the only team that has not lost this season.
This time, Ricardo Ferrati took his team to Estadio Nemesio Díez, one of the toughest grounds in the Liga MX.
Juninho received a pass from Emanuel Villa and converted the first of four goals from the northern team.
Lucas Lobos kicked a penalty at the 50th minute; the match seemed to be resolved.
However, Édgar Dueñas headed a cross from Lucas Silva and gave hope to the Diablos Rojos.
In the injury time, UANL sealed the deal with two more goals, this time from Luis García and Emanuel Villa.
This was the first time in nine years and eight months that Toluca lost to Tigres on home soil.
UANL has won its three games away from Estadio Tecnológico, the only club that has accomplished the feat. Also, it has one of the strongest defenses: they have only allowed four goals.
Emmanuel Villa is currently the best striker in Liga MX with six goals.
Result: UANL 1-4
Santos vs Pachuca
There is a word to describe the Santos season so far: inconsistency.
Los Guerreros have two wins, two defeats and two draws so far. Their match against Pachuca was the third of the last 23 in which the club has not scored on home soil.
The visiting team’s strategy was based on defense. Santos controlled the ball most of the game.
However, the Tuzos took advantage of their rival’s mistakes and Héctor Herrera scored the only goal of the game.
Oribe Peralta missed the match due to an injury he suffered at last week's Mexico World Cup qualifier against Jamaica.
His absence proved that Santos relies too much on him. This season, El Cepillo has scored four of the team’s six goals.
Herculez Gomez and Darwin Quintero had a lot of opportunities to score but Rodolfo Cota was magnificent on his goal.
The United States international was very close on the 60th minute, but he smashed the ball in the post.
Oswaldo Sánchez was instrumental in the second half. He saved Santos twice, the last of them just a minute before the referee ended the match.
Result: Pachuca 0-1
General Table and More...
The best goal goes to Edson Rivera. The Atlas striker showed his great technique and gave his team the victory over Atlante with this fantastic shot.
Eduardo Herrera deserves an honorable mention. Herrera gave Pumas the equalizer with Cruz Azul, the same way he did in the previous tournament. He has scored 10 times in the Liga MX.
América and Tigres delivered the best performances of the weekend. Both teams are in the right track to securing a spot in the playoffs (Liguilla).
After six dates, here is the general table: