WOODY BAUM - Monday, February 15, 2010
Paco Torres scored the winning goal for Pachuca in a Wild West shootout as the Tuzos visited Puebla and with fellow American Herculez Gomez on Sunday afternoon.
Puebla 3 - 5 Pachuca
It was a back and forth encounter in what was the game of the week, as Pachuca downed Peubla in Puebla on Sunday.
Puebla's home woes continue as they have been unable to score a single point this season in Puebla.
The game started slowly, but things blew wide open in the 25th minute when a cross from Gilberto Mora found Alvaro Gonzalez who headed it in to give home side the lead.
The celebration had barely finished when Ulises Mendevil beat Joaquin Velazquez on the right side and shot across the goalkeeper to level the score. In the 32nd, Daniel Manso found Damien Alvarez, returning after a three game suspension, with a penetrating pass in the area who was able to put the ball past the goalie to give Pachuca the advantage.
The advantage was short-lived as Gilberto Mora notched his second assist in the game when his cross found ex-MLS player, Carlos Ruiz whose header found the back of the net to tie the game before the half.
Paco Torres entered the game in the 46th minute, his first minutes since being left out of the squad last week for a hamstring injury incurred against Queretaro in week two. He made his impact felt, playing a deep midfield role and intelligently distributing the ball.
Puebla struck back in the 61st, when Marcelo Palua, in a free kick outside the area, shot a laser that gave Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero no chance. American Herculez Gomez entered the game for Carlos Ruiz in the 61st.
His size gave the Pachuca defense fits at first and he almost scored when he beat the Pachuca back line with only the goalie to beat.
He tried to loft it above Miguel Calero but Calero was able to get his hands on it. Ulises Mendevil leveled the score in the 63rd after a hard a shot from Damian Alvarez reflected off the goalkeeper.
Mendevil out-hustled the Peubla defense, recovered the deflected ball and put in a scrappy goal.
The teams continued to battle it out and create chances when Pachuca won a free kick several yards outside the area in the 84th.
Paco Torres took the free kick beautifully, putting the ball over the wall and into the right corner in what could be described as a "golazo". Torres showed no signs of injury when he celebrated with a back flip.
In the 95th Dario Cvitanich added another goal for Pachuca, when the ball deflected off several players in the area and Dario was able to shoot into an open net.
It was an excellent game, with both teams playing attacking soccer. Both Americans played very well, but Francisco Torres and Pachuca were able to gain the upper hand.
Pachuca will look to continue their strong play when they host league leaders, Chivas of Guadalajara on Wednesday, while Puebla will hope to bounce back when they host San Luis.
San Luis 1 - 1 Indios
It appears Indios are just unable to win as their winless streak continued this week when they visited San Luis on Saturday night.
Indios were able to finally score a goal, their first of the tournament. However, that goal came from an own goal by Oscar Mascorro, who redirected a shot between his keeper's legs in the 16th.
After the goal, Indios seemed content to sit back and defend. However the tie seemed inevitable as San Luis attacked for the remainder of the game.
Indios had the additional burden of playing down a man when Honduran Emil Martinez was shown red after a hard tackle on Gonzalez Pineda in the 25th.
Indios, however, were given a hand when the referee incorrectly sent Cesar Gonzolez of San Luis off in the 45th for what the referee thought was a dive in the area.
Marco Vidal, as custom this season started and played the entire 90 minutes. He helped to prevent the San Luis offense from scoring the first half but had no significant impact in the game.
San Luis almost tied in the 52nd when a rocket by Blas Perez from far outside the area was deflected miraculously by the Indios keeper Christian Martinez.
Indios' strategy of sitting back on their lead eventually fell through when Victor Lojer found himself with the ball alone on the left side of the area who put it past Martinez. Indios was lucky to escape with the tie as a Blas Perez header in the 89th hit the cross bar.
Indios' winless streak continues as they seem destined to the Liga de Acenso. They visit Atlas on Wednesday.
Monterrey 2 - 1 Tigres
Monterrey got the better of their crosstown rivals Edgar Castillo and Tigres in the Clasico this Sunday night.
Tigres got off to a good start as they shut down Monterrey's attack and controlled the ball in the midfield. However, it was Monterrey who got on the scoreboard first when a corner kick from Neri Cardoza made it past Tigres defender Sergio Ponce, which Aldo de Negris pounced on and tapped in to give the home team the lead.
De Nigris returned the favor in the 39th when he centered the ball from the left side and found Cardoza, whose shot was deflected by "El Gringo" Castro but nevertheless found its way to the back of the net.
Tigres fought back in the second half when a free kick from Sergio Ponce connected with Jose Molina who headed it in to put Tigres within one.
However the tying goal would never come as Monterrey closed out the victory to continue on their impressive run after winning the tournament last season.
Castillo, for the first time when he was healthy this tournament, was not the starter, being subbed in for "El Gringo" Castro in the 64th.
His play has been disappointing this season and was unable to provide the attacking spark he is known for today. Tigres continue to be plagued with inconsistency this tournament. They will have the opportunity to bounce back when they host Santos Laguna next week.