MEXICO: Torneo Apertura – Round 12 Review



Besides the clásico tapatío there were plenty of other games and goals in this weekend’s Liga MX games. Pumas finally got the win that they were in such desperate need for to move them off the bottom of the table and they were replaced by Atlante, who were given an almighty thrashing at the hands of title hopefuls, Toluca. Club America, had to ride their luck a little, in Veracruz, but their formidable run of form continued keeping them top of the table.


Queretaro looked to have done enough to earn all 3 points despite playing with 10 men when they took a two goal lead against Tigres on Friday night but goals from Lucas Lobos and Carlos Salcido ensured the points were shared.

Diego De La Torre opened the scoring, for the home side, with a wonderful first time volley from outside the box, struck superbly with the outside of his foot. In a weekend of top draw strikes, this was right up there amongst the very best.

In the second half, the home side were reduced to 10 men when Amaury Escoto was shown a straight red, rather harshly. As he over-ran the ball he clattered into Hugo Ayala, but with no intent, the punishment did not appear to fit the crime. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Queretaro doubled their lead. George Corral’s excellent run created the opportunity and Wilberto Cosme clipped the ball into the net.

Tigres came back strongly though and just 3 minutes later they were back in it. Damian Alvarez’s cutback found captain, Lucas Lobos and he duly dispatched the chance. And just minutes later, the game was level. This time it was from a corner and as the defence failed to clear their lines, the ball dropped to full-back, Carlos Salcido who crashed in a left foot drive from the edge of the penalty box.

With time on the clock it was now Tigres who looked the more likely to win the game but goalkeeper, Edgar Hernandez kept them at bay and maintained the scoreline.


Later, on Friday night, Santos Laguna impressively beat Morelia. Falling behind early to Jose Cardenas’ goal, Santos replied with 3 first half goals and although they had to play the entire second half a man down, following Mauro Cejas’ sending off, the lead proved unassailable. With the 3-1 victory, Santos leapfrogged Morelia in the table, with both sides well placed to make the playoffs.

Morelia raced into a first half lead after good work down the right from Rodrigo Salinas. His squared pass across the face of the goal left Jose Cardenas with the simplest of tap-ins. However, the momentum quickly shifted and as quickly as the home side had been behind they were comfortably leading.

The equalizer, only 4 minutes after falling behind was the pick of the bunch. Rodolfo Salinas controlled the ball on his chest before firing a 25-yard volley past Federico Vilar. Colombian, Darwin Quintero headed Santos into the lead just before the half hour mark and shortly after Oribe Peralta made it 3.

Just before the break, Mauro Cejas was shown a red card for a tackle on Rodrigo Salinas but Morelia could not make the most of their numerical advantage in the second half.


After a woeful start to the Apertura and 11 games without a win, expectations were at a low for Pumas but they finally ended their dreadful run yesterday with a 1-0 win at home against Monterrey. Luis Garcia’s close range finish with 10 minutes remaining was enough and lifts them off the bottom of the league.


Club America continue to look formidable in their bid for back-to-back titles after travelling to Veracruz and winning 1-0. Sought after striker, Raul Jimenez came close to giving them the lead but it was Argentine, Rubens Sambueza who scored the goal. Following last week’s wonderful right footed shot, the winger this week curled a superb freekick with his left into the top corner. Veracruz came close to an equaliser but could not find a way back.


Cruz Azul got back to winning ways, having not won since round 6, and the relief was obvious not only for the team but goal scorer, Marione Pavone. The Argentine front man has been misfiring in recent weeks but his goal was the difference in their match with Leon. Pouncing on a defensive error, Pavone still had some work to do but cutting inside onto his left he forced a way through.


Chiapas remain right in the playoff hunt following last night’s home win over Pachuca. Despite falling behind early to Duvier Riascos’ header, the home side came back strongly. The equaliser came from Boca Juniors loanee, Lucas Viatri as he spectacularly volleyed home David Toledo’s cross. The winner came less than 10 minutes from time, Colombian striker, Aviles Hurtado got in front of his marker to fire Chiapas to all 3 points.


Puebla defeated Tijuana 2-0 to close the gap on the playoff positions. Goals from Matias Alustiza and Carlos Sanchez were enough for victory and leave Los Xolos with work to do to make the playoffs.

Alustiza did well to skip around goalkeeper, Cirilo Saucedo before keeping his composure and slotting the ball past the covering defenders to open the scoring in the 23rd minute. Puebla had to wait until the 83rd minute to make sure of the win, Carlos Sanchez firing in from outside the box.


Away from the clásico tapatío in Sunday’s other action, Toluca hammered bottom of the table, Atlante. To a side already rooted to the foot of the relegation table a 7-1 demolition doesn’t bode well but for title chasing Toluca it is a real confidence boost.

Paraguayan, centre back, Paulo Da Silva started the rout in only the 4th minute with a superb controlled volley direct from a corner. When your centre back is scoring goals like this, you know you are going to have a good day.

If the first was good, the second was even better. Striker, Raul Nava controlled the ball with his back to goal and then unleashed a spectacular bicycle kick to double the lead.

After half an hour both sides were reduced to 10 men, following a little fracas but this did nothing to stop the momentum and before the break it was 3. Brazilian, Wilson was able to run relatively unchallenged through the heart of Atlante’s weary defence and pass the ball beyond Yosgart Gutierrez.

For a brief moment, it appeared there was still some life in Atlante and minutes after the restart, Ezequiel Miralles pulled one back, but it was a momentary reprieve.

Minutes later, Toluca were awarded a penalty and Raul Nava slotted in his second of the game and ended any resistance.

With 20 minutes remaining, American-born, Isaac Brizuela scored the fifth. Some delightful interchanges opened the space for Brizuela to stroke the ball into the bottom corner.

Pablo Velazquez came off the bench, replacing Nava, and added the final two goals to end a terrible day at the office for relegation favourites, Atlante.


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