Week 3 led to many surprises in Liga MX, with America escaping with a draw, a Mazatlan F.C win, and a Pumas U.N.A.M team that couldn’t capitalize playing against a 9 men’s side.
Liga MX geared up for round three of play this weekend. It was an interesting weekend as of these results America is officially the super leader, Puebla trail behind with only a goal being the differing factor and Cruz Azul follow at third bolstering the leagues best defense.
Chivas 0-1 Puebla:
First things first Luis Fernando Tena is gone after a 1-0 loss against Puebla. Chivas looked to be no threat offensively after the first 15 minutes and held the tempo of the game up until the end of the first half. Puebla started to get going offensively and that put Chivas playing on their back foot and stepping on feet when Eduardo Torres was sent off in the 35th minute. Capped off by a goal from Santiago Gabriel Omeno Zayas in the 63rd minute and a Chivas team that ended up defending the rest of the game led to “Flaco” Tena being fired. Chivas look to bounce back midweek vs Juarez, While Puebla takes on Tigres Tuesday the 11th of August.
Mazatlan 2-1 Toluca:
Mazatlan came to play and Toluca fell further than anyone thought they would. The game was pretty even for the first half with chances being given left and right for both teams and Toluca had 19 shots when compared to Mazatlan’s 10 but Mazatlan’s chances were more quality shots. Thanks to Venezuelan striker Fernando Aristeguieta‘s brace it lifted Mazatlan over Toluca. Even with 10 men after Jose Ortiz got sent off in the 40th minute for a bad tackle, Mazatlan still found a way to pull off the win. Mazatlan takes on Necaxa where they have the chance to make it two wins in a row on the 11th of August. Meanwhile, Toluca go onto taking on Atlas Thursday 13th of August to see who’s gonna be the worst team this tournament.
America 1-1 Necaxa:
America was unlucky to only get a draw but the defense looked shaky at times and they weren’t doing Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa any favors, especially after giving up a penalty in stoppage time of the first half. Let’s rewind though to the beginning of the game where America striker Federico Vinas with his back against the goal received the ball, dribbled it once, and turned around to score for what was most likely the best goal of the week. Federico came up short though later in the game missing key headers to put America up, and can we say how good of a job Miguel ‘Piojo” Herrera has been doing with this America squad?
Necaxa had a lot more shots and possession than America but lacked the quality to the finish, even with shaky America defending, Guillermo Ochoa bailed America out plenty of times. Necaxa did a decent job to earn the penalty and finish it tying the game up a 1 apiece, but after this tie where do they go after this? Necaxa is a feeder club that sells to other Liga MX clubs. This offseason though they didn’t add any pieces after selling their main goal scoring threat Mauro Quiroga to Atletico San Luis. America looks to keep rolling against Santos Thursday the 13th of August, but Santos will put up a good fight, while Necaxa looks for an easy win against Mazatlan F.C. on Tuesday the 11th of August.
Pumas 1-1 Juarez:
This was Pumas’s game to lose and they ended up tying against Juarez F.C after Juarez was down to 9 men in the game at the 40th-minute mark when Francisco Nevarez was sent off. Earlier in the game, though Juarez’s Eryc Castillo had a horrible tackle when he crashed into a player with his studs up. Pumas had a half and then some to win the game as they led in the game since Carlos Espinola scored the penalty they earned right after the second half started, but Juarez equalized in the 65th minute by a Golazo by Maximiano Olivera.
Juarez went on to park the bus and not manage to get another player sent off, but this was a huge blown opportunity for Pumas to be at the top of the table. It’s Pumas’s fault though as they begged for a penalty in the closing minutes and were livid when they didn’t get it after Dinneno threw himself. leading to VAR being used and when the ref returned he received a yellow for flopping. Pumas take on Monterrey on Wednesday the 12th of August, while Juarez looks to swoop in on a vulnerable Chivas with no head coach on the same date also.
Xolos 0-0 Tigres:
Tigres and Xolos are the closest we have seen to the first leg of a Liguilla game this season. This game could be a preview of a future playoff matchup, most likely in the later rounds. Xolos controlled the tempo the whole first half attacking wise and gave Tigres little ball possession, but Xolos couldn’t breakthrough. In fact, either side couldn’t breakthrough, even these two great goalkeepers in Nahuel Guzman and Jonathan Orozco weren’t being tested, making this a boring game.
Tigres had the best opportunity to score as Guido Pizzaro flicked a pass back to Luis Quinones who hit the left post and no other shot came close. Gignac made a great header towards the end of the second half but was called offside by the linesman. They both make a point and Xolos look to take on Atletico San Luis on Wednesday the 12th of August, and Tigres take on Puebla on the 11th of August.
Atletico San Luis 1-1 Atlas:
Atlas were all charged up and ready to go after rumors of their coach being let go midweek made some players come together and make a video showing their support for Rafa Puente Jr. It didn’t work as they tied 1-1 and Rafa Puente Jr. was let go after only being able to get Atlas their first point of the season after the tie that was Atlas vs. Atletico san Luis. Atlas dominated possession with 62% and had almost 400 passes when compared with Atletico’s 229 passes.
Atlas was the first to score with Javier Correa finding some space and finishing, also shout out to both of these keepers because they defended their goals to the death. It wasn’t enough though as Atletico’s newly bought forward strutted his goal-scoring prowess and scored in the 35th minute, making the game level and the score would stay that way. No matter what Atlas did and it seemed in the second half they were looking for that second goal but to no avail. Rafa Puente Jr. was fired and Atlas look for their first win vs a bad Toluca side. Atletico San Luis takes on Xolos de Tijuana Wednesday the 12th of August.
Cruz Azul 2-0 Leon:
What is going on with Leon? They are off this season and coach Nacho Ambriz needs to figure it out, with the talent that Leon possesses they can’t afford to let games like this slip through their fingers. They controlled possession to the tune of almost 70%, but they failed to capitalize on the 3 good shots they had. Leon slipped up two weeks ago and let a Chivas team get away with a tie. Cruz Azul wasn’t Chivas. They made Leon pay with their quick counter-attacking style under coach Roberto Siboldi, scoring in the 4th minute with a goal from Juan Escobar with a header from almost outside of the box with a lot of power! Santiago Gimenez capped off the game with a well-taken penalty on Leon’s Rodolfo Cota. Leon moves onto Pachuca Tuesday the 11th, where they may lose. Meanwhile, Cruz Azul takes on Queretaro and look to continue their hot form.
Pachuca 1-0 Queretaro:
Pachuca had Queretaro’s number and gave them trouble all over the field especially on corners and that’s when Victor Davila scored in the 4th minute with a bullet of a header in the top right corner while Queretaro’s keeper could only watch. Queretaro looked for an equalizer but had few opportunities as Kevin Escamilla got sent off in the 34th minute for a bad tackle, leaving Queretaro with 10 men and Pachuca with more ball possession and scoring opportunities. Pachuca takes on Leon Tuesday the 11th of August, and Queretaro fights for their life against a red hot Cruz Azul team Wednesday the 12th of August.