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An intriguing round in Liga MX came to an end yesterday with Pumas torrid run continuing with yet another home defeat prompting the fans to call for the return of legend, Hugo Sanchez. Earlier, in the round, Club America exacted a small amount of revenge over Leon, the side who pipped them to the Torneo Apertura crown a month earlier, with a contentious victory in the Azteca. Cruz Azul and Toluca continued their fine starts and head the table with 2 wins from their 3 matches and at the other end of the table, Atlante battled to an important relegation victory over fellow strugglers, Atlas.
Morelia 2–0 Tigres
Tigres’ poor start to the season continued on Friday night as they lost 2-0 in Morelia to give the home side their first win of the season. Despite starting the game the better side, Tigres lack of firepower cost them when on the stroke of half time Colombian, Duvier Riascos headed Morelia in front. Just five minutes after the break, Carlos Morales’ free kick managed to sneak between Enrique Palos and the post and with it ended any hopes of a Tigres comeback. As frustration grew,Juninho and then Hernan Burbano were sent off for Tigres and the game ended in another defeat. The lack of fight and more so, the lack of goals a real worry for Tigres at the moment.
Santos 0–0 Puebla
Later on Friday, Santos and Puebla played out a disappointing goalless draw. Both sides remain without a win so far and Santos in particular, who might be harbouring title aspirations, will be hoping to improve soon.
Club America 1-0 Leon
The early kickoff on Saturday was a replay of the Torneo Apertura Final just a month after Leon were crowned champions and Saturday’s clash in the Azteca against Club America proved equally tight. With little between the sides it took a controversial second half penalty to give America revenge over their foes. Centre Forward, Raul Jimenez was clipped just outside the box but referee, Paul Delgadillo pointed to the spot and Jimenez got up to slot the penalty past William Yarbrough. Leon will feel even more aggrieved after a strong penalty claim of their own was dismissed in the first half when Carlos ‘Gullit’ Peña was bundled over. Regardless, after the disappointment of defeat to Tijuana this was a big win for America and new coach, Antonio Mohamed and the belief will quickly return.
Veracruz 1–1 Chivas
Chivas maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw in Veracruz. The improvement in José Luis Real’s side and the sending off of Veracruz’s Cristian Llama with half an hour to go mean that Los Rojiblancos will look at this as a missed opportunity. Israel Castro gave Chivas the lead with a superbly struck volley after 20 minutes but with Marco Fabian missing Chivas lacked sufficient incision to push on. Jehu Chiapas fired Veracruz level in the second half but within minutes Llama was given his marching orders for a poor tackle. Chivas were unable to take advantage of this advantage but there are still signs of promise for the Guadalajara giants.
Monterrey 3–1 Queretaro
At the other end of the table there were big wins for some of the strugglers. Monterrey roared back from falling behind against Queretaro to win 3-1, their first of the season. William Da Silva got behind the Rayados defence after half an hour and rifled a left footed finish past Jonathan Orozco to put Queretaro in front. However, a fine second half performance turned the game on its head. Minutes after the break, Victor Ramos headed the equaliser and after 63 minutes, Marlon de Jesus steadied himself after receiving a cross from the right and thumped Monterrey in front. With full time approaching, the 3 points were ensured when Edgar Hernández spilled a shot allowing Cesar Delgado to tap in the third.
Pachuca 2–1 Tijuana
Pachuca also came from behind to earn a valuable victory against Tijuana. Cristian Pellerano’s superb long range strike gave Xolos the early lead but they lacked the same bite that had against America a week earlier. Instead, Pachuca fought back to earn a first home win for 5 months. Edgar Andrade’s deep cross was not dealt with and allowed Ecuadorian striker, Enner Valencia to nip in and head the equaliser. The winner came from a similar source when a ball over the top released Valencia and after rounding the keeper his scuffed effort was trickling over the goal line until Hernán Pellerano’s hand stopped the ball. Despite their protests there was no other decision to be made and Walter Ayovi stepped up to slot in the decisive penalty.
Atlas 0–1 Atlante
Atlante managed to close the gap with Atlas in their bottom of the table clash with a narrow 1-0 win. With not a lot between these two poor sides it took only Narciso Mina’s neat finish to give Atlante a much needed win.
Cruz Azul 1–0 Chiapas
Finally on Saturday’s busy fixture list, Cruz Azul continued their fine start to the championship winning 1-0 in Chiapas. These two sides couldn’t have had more distinct starts to the season, with Cruz Azul unbeaten and top of the table and Chiapas without a win. The match winner came after 27 minutes when Mauro Pavone’s header from a corner was pounced on by fellow Argentine, Mauro Formica and he diverted the ball from close range past Jesus Corona.
Pumas 0–2 Toluca
Pumas have continued their horrendous 2013 form with another home defeat on Sunday afternoon to Toluca, making it just one win in 22 and 11 in the Estadio Olímpico Universitario since their last victory. Another abject performance allowed Toluca to jump to the top of the table with the 2-0 win and led to the locals calling for the head of current Manager, Jose Luis Trejo. Goals either side of half time from Pablo Velázquez and Miguel Ponce condemned Pumas to their latest defeat and now serious doubts surround Trejo. It is thought that Guillermo Vázquez and Sergio Markarián lead the shortlist to replace Trejo but the fans appeared to have other ideas as the name of Hugo rang around the stadium. Pumas and Mexico legend, Hugo Sanchez would be welcomed back and perhaps give the club a much needed lift.
STANDINGS – FIRST STAGE CLAUSURA
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