MEXICO: Torneo Apertura – Round 11 Review



An eventful weekend in Liga MX saw Club America and Leon move to the top of the table and perhaps show their title credentials and at the same time provide some of the best goals of the weekend. At the other end of the table, Pumas slumped to yet another defeat and now prop up the table, Chivas continued their woeful form and despite battling back to draw Atlas are still without a win and now have to deal with internal conflict in the club.

20130929 - Liga MX - Isaac Brizuela


Morelia’s spell at the summit of the Torneo Apertura table looks set to end after Friday night’s defeat at home to Monterrey. After a fairly drab first 45 minutes, both sides showed far more attacking intent in the second half as they both went in search for the 3 points. It took only 4 minutes after the break for Monterrey to break the deadlock, when Neri Cardozo’s clever flick found, half time substitute, Luis Madrigal and he rifled the ball past Enrique Perez. 5 minutes later, the lead was doubled and again it was Madrigal, this time firing a low shot into the corner from the edge of the box. Morelia looked as though they may come back into the match when Aldo Ramirez scored with a fiercely struck shot from distance but Monterrey ensured they would be leaving with all the points when Alejandro Garcia fired in the third.


Later on Friday night, Cruz Azul travelled to Tijuana and played out a dull goalless draw, in which both sides looked happy simply not to lose. Tijuana were disrupted early seeing recent signing, Dario Benedetto limp off only 10 minutes in. Despite this set back, Los Xolos were still the busier side and looked the more dangerous. However, they could not find the breakthrough and both sides are still well placed for the play off positions.


Following their comfortable midweek victory in the CONCACAF Champions League, Club America completed a good week with an equally convincing win in the Estadio Azteca over Chiapas. The better team from the kick off, America took the lead in the 19th minute when Argentine, Rubens Sambueza cut inside onto his weaker, right foot and curled a superb shot into the top corner. The scoreline remained until half time when the weather took a turn for the worse.

In spite of the heavy rain, America doubled the lead not long after the break in spectacular fashion. Full back, Miguel Layun fired in a free kick from 30 yards, struck with too much pace and curl for goalkeeper, Oscar Jimenez. Striker, Raul Jimenez then made it 3 when he toe poked the ball into the net and in doing so killed off the game.

Minutes later, Chiapas did manage a consolation, when Carlos Ochoa rounded Hugo Gonzalez but it did not set up a grand stand finish and instead America cantered to a win and took pole position in the league table.


With the game seemingly heading for a goalless draw it was in the 90th minute that Hector Morales fired the winner from the edge of the penalty box. His first goal since joining Atlante on loan from Monterrey heaped further misery on Pumas as they slumped to the bottom of the table.


Pachuca took the lead midway through the first half when veteran, Argentine striker, Fernando Cavenaghi nodded in from close range. This looked like it would be the match winner but deep into injury time, a classic piece of route one football yielded the equaliser. After a flick off the head of a Pachuca defender, Andres Renteria was able to square the ball and leave Eduardo Herrera the simplest of tap-ins.


The home side had the better of the opportunities but in truth it was a poor game and both sides will need to kick on now to progress to the liguilla.


Leon continue to impress, moving level on points with Club America at the top after this latest win. Rafa Marquez once again proved his worth with another performance of the utmost class. A strong start eventually brought the opening goal when Hernan Burbano took advantage of a poor clearance from goalkeeper, Luis Michel. The Colombian striker rounded the hapless Michel before rolling the ball in for the opener.

If the first was as a result of a defensive error, the second was the result of a wonderful piece of individual brilliance. A lofty cross from the left was met perfectly by Luis Montes and his textbook bicycle kick flew into the bottom corner. Chivas did manage a reply in the second half through Rafa Marquez Lugo’s powerful header but it did not provide the impetus for a comeback and once more Chivas fell to defeat. 1 win in 17 games now does not make pretty reading for Chivas and they now must focus on the CopaMX as the Apertura is over for them.


Atlas will be mighty relieved to have got anything from this game as they produced a below par performance which started badly with the red card of Flavio Santos and got much worse when Angel Reyna Martinez gave Veracruz the lead from the penalty spot. Before half time Atlas were thrown a life line through a penalty of their own, which Omar Bravo gratefully took but when he was given a second chance 5 minutes later to give Atlas the lead he generously wasted the opportunity.

Just after the break, Veracruz retook the lead, Cristian Borja finishing from close range and five minutes later the lead was doubled. Jesus Sanchez headed in a corner from the left and against the 10 men of Atlas it seemed the game was over.

However, in the 77th minute, Vicente Vuoso climbed above his marker to forcefully head home a second. As Atlas’ frustration grew in search of the equaliser, Lucas Ayala was also shown a red card but there was still time for Edson Rivera to scramble in the leveller following a long ball pumped into the box.

Despite the valiant comeback, Atlas are still without a win and the pressure grows on manager, Omar Asad. Since the draw, it has been revealed that captain, Leandro Cufre is to leave as the club have announced he was working to get rid of Asad. To say all is not well at Atlas would be an understatement.


Toluca turned on the style to sweep aside Queretaro at home and consolidate their position in the playoff places. In the same week they scored 5 in the Champions League against Caledonia, Toluca are currently finding goals easy to come by, adding another 4 in this recent victory. Raul Nava gave Toluca an early lead, pouncing on some sloppy defending in the Queretaro penalty box to slot the ball past Edgar Hernandez. Nava got his second of the afternoon on 34 minutes and a minute later it was 3, as Isaac Brizuela brilliantly lobbed Hernandez. Toluca were running riot but had to wait until the 82nd minute to add a fourth, when Paulo Da Silva headed in a corner from the left.


20130929 Liga MX


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