Winners and Losers from Liga MX Week 1
The 2014 Apertura tournament of the Liga MX is underway. After the first matchday there were several surprises, although not all of them were pleasant.
Pumas, Monterrey, America, Puebla, Santos and Pachuca sealed victories during the weekend, while the rest of the pack either tied or lost their respective games.
Let's take a look at the winners and losers.
Winners: Away Teams
The away teams were in control of the first matchday.
UNAM, Puebla, Santos Laguna, Pachuca and America grabbed three points in their respective games with Queretaro, Tijuana, Veracruz, Cruz Azul and Leon.
There were ties too. Tigres vs. UANL and Toluca against Morelia ended in scoreless draws, while Guadalajara and Chiapas tied to one goal.
It was the second-best record of the away teams in their debut in the history of the Liga MX. During the first matchday of the 2002 Apertura six away teams ended with victories.
Loser: William Yarbrough
Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough had performed great in the past couple of seasons. However, a childish mistake cost his team victory in the first game of the 2014 Apertura.
The Panzas Verdes were losing 1-0 to America when Yarbrough couldn't make up his mind at a set piece. The 'keeper ended inside his goal with the ball in his hands.
That goal was enough for Las Aguilas to grab their first three points of the season.
Puebla traveled to Tijuana to face Xolos. La Franja had never won at Estadio Caliente until last weekend, when Luis Lorona defeated Cirilo Saucedo with a powerful right-foot shot.
It was a fantastic victory, especially since they played the last 25 minutes of the match with 10 men, as Luis Fernando Silva was sent off.
Also, this win was key for Puebla because they are fighting to avoid relegation.
Guadalajara started their season with a disappointing tie to one goal against Chiapas.
Fernando Arce had a dream debut with Chivas as he opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a free kick that reminded everyone that he still has power and fine touch.
But the home team couldn't keep the momentum going and Julio Nava put the ball away in the second half to secure one point for his side.
It is clear that Chivas need adjustments in the attacking zone, especially between Omar Bravo and Angel Reyna. They both had clear goal opportunities but couldn't capitalize.
The result is worse than it seems because Guadalajara sit 15th in the relegation table.
The only team that took advantage of playing at home was Monterrey. Rayados proved that experience and having the support of their fans is fundamental.
Carlos Barra's side opened the scoring quickly, which also marked Humberto Suazo's first goal since last April.
However, the Universidad de Guadalajara pushed hard to tie the score and accomplished the feat in the 21st minute.
Monterrey kept grinding and eventually left the recently promoted team behind, despite missing a penalty kick.
Rayados looked sharp in the last third of the pitch, organized and lethal.
The opening matchday had a bunch of questionable refereeing decisions, which ranged from uncalled penalty kicks to an excessive number of fouls.
In the match between Tijuana and Puebla the referee didn't sanction two fouls inside the box, one from each side.
Toluca vs. Morelia was also full of drama, especially after the referee sent off Luis Fernando Silva for a second booking. The game was very heated in the second half but little was done to control it.
There must be changes and adjustments in this area soon or the show will be hurt badly.
Winner: Osvaldo Martinez
Osvaldo Martinez kicked off the 2014 Apertura with a brace against Leon. The attacking midfielder took advantage of a rebound and a mistake by William Yarbrough to grab two goals.
Martinez has already tied his best scoring record with Las Aguilas. In his first tournament with the club he put the ball away twice in 22 appearances.
The Paraguayan arrived at America for the 2013 Clausura but his playing time had been reduced little by little.
Winner: Andres Renteria
Santos Laguna didn't seem to miss Oribe Peralta much and defeated Veracruz for the first time since 1996.
Andres Renteria scored his first goal of the season and ninth overall since he arrived in Mexico. His partnership with Javier Orozco was key to grabbing three points for his side.
Since the last tournament Renteria has taken a more active role with Los Guerreros. He scored five times in 14 appearances.
Now, with Peralta out of the picture, he needs to keep his momentum going to become the stalwart of the attacking zone.
All stats appear courtesy of Liga MX (Spanish), unless otherwise noted.
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