WOODY BAUM - Friday, February 19, 2010
Herculez Gomez saves the day with a game winning goal for Puebla in the closing minutes against San Luis while Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca fell to undefeated Chivas.
Pachuca 0-1 Chivas
The game was supposed to be the game of the night when Chivas visited Pachuca on Wednesday night as the two most potent offenses collided and it did not disappoint.
In a game that was uncharacteristically sloppy, due to heavy rains, both teams did stop attacking as Chivas stole the points in the Estadio Hidalgo.
It was even for most of the first half with both teams creating chances and attacking, although they had trouble maintaining control of the ball, with imprecise passes, due to the conditions.
Paco Torres got the start and distributed the ball well and aided in the offensive build up. Torres tried on his own from inside the area in the 30th when a powerful left footed shot was deflected by Luis Michel.
Early in the second half, Pachuca began to control the midfield and string together more successful passes, despite the rain.
They had a golden opportunity in the 52nd when a through ball found Ulises Mendevil open, but whose touch only managed to deflect the ball wide to the left.
Chivas' opportunity came in the 62nd when Xavier Baez shot from over 30 meters outside the area and put it into the top right corner in a rocket that gave Miguel Calero no chance.
After being down one, Pachuca dominated the remainder of the game, but their passes or shots were just slightly off and were unable to convert.
Torres was subbed off in the 76th as Pachuca wanted to put in a third striker. Chivas almost went ahead by two in the 78th when Bofo Bautista was alone with only Calero to beat, but Calero held his ground and managed to get a hand on the ball to keep it at one.
The two best teams in the tournament met and Chivas showed why they are just a little bit above the competition this tournament. Pachuca will hope to recover when they visit Jaguares on Saturday.
Estudiantes 3-4 Monterrey
Estudiantes had the difficult task of trying to slow down the defending champions, Monterrey, this Wednesday night in Jalisco and failed as so many others have.
The visiting squad started off strongly and dominated the early minutes when a free kick by Walter Ayovi from outside the area was deflected by Diego Jímenez and bounced into his own goal to give the Rayados the lead.
The lead didn't last long when in the 33rd minute, some quick passing between Rubens Sambueza and Rodrigo Ruiz found Mauro Cejas open in the area who only had to tap it in to level the score.
The Guadalajara squad was handed a gift before half time when Luis Perez was shown his second yellow to give Estudiantes the advantage for the rest of the night.
Estudiantes appeared to take advantage, when in the 51st minutes Sambueza and Ruiz teamed up again. Sambueza look to have a decent opportunity to shoot and drew goalkeeper Jonothan Orozco off his line.
Sambueza once again passed it to find Ruiz unmarked in front of an open goal, who converted to give Estudiantes the lead.
However they could not hold onto the lead when in the 56th, Abraham Carreño collected the ball in the area, beat Juan Carlos Leaño and shot below Mario Rodriguez to tie things up.
Monterrey continued with the pressure scoring two more unanswered goals by the Carreño and Aldo de Negris in the63rd and 69th respectively.
Down by two, American Sammy Ochoa and Robert Gutierrez were subbed in to give the home side more offensive options in the 74th and 68th minute respectively.
The move paid off as Gutierrez scored in the 80th from a header in a well played counterattack to pull Estudiantes within one, although the tying goal never came.
Estudiantes will look to bounce back when they visit red hot Santos Laguna on Sunday afternoon.
Atlas 7-1 Indios
Indios needed points in order to have any chance of avoiding relegation. Unfortunately, they visited a motivated Atlas team looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss to Morelia last week.
Atlast wasted no time making quick work of Indios by scoring in the first 30 seconds off a shot from Miguel Zepeda. Atlas continued to apply pressure and nearly scored five minutes later, although they wouldn't need to wait too long for the second.
In the 12th, Dario Botinelli took a powerful shot that Humberto Hernandez couldn't control. Zepeda put in the rebound to put the home squad up by two.
Indios' defense seemed to offer little resistance to the Atlas attack, as Zepeda and Company constantly applied pressure. In the 25th, Edgar Pacheco shot from outside the area and caught Hernandez at a bad angle to make it three.
Indios, as they have done all season, fought valiantly and responded in the 27th when Jair Garcia headed in a corner. Indios continued to attack but left themselves open to counterattacks, which the home side used to their advantage frequently.
Zepeda had two more assists before the half when In the 36th, he found Gonzalo Vargas in the area who put it past Hernandez and in the 43rd his pass found Dario Botinelli who gave Atlas a four goal advantage.
Zepeda notched his third goal in the 57th as he was unstoppable all night. Up by six, Atlas rested its strikers and played a more defensive game, although they were able to put in a seventh in the 80.
Marco Vidal played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in a game that Indios will try hard to forget. With hopes of staying up this season essentially dashed, Indios will be playing for pride next week when they host Cruz Azul on Sunday.
Puebla 1-0 San Luis
Puebla's home woes ended on Wednesday when a goal by American Herculez Gomez in the 87th provided the game winner in a match that both squads needed to win.
The game started out roughly equal as both sides fought for midfield control, although it was Puebla who seemed to have the upper hand. Heavy rains and cold temperatures affected the field, but both squads fought nonetheless looking to create opportunities.
Puebla created the first dangerous attack in the 27th when Nicolas Olivera found Alvaro Gonzalez open in the area on the right side. Gonzalez tried to recenter to Carlos Ruiz, but the pass was too long.
San Luis had a golden opportunity in the 58th when Braulio Luna was fouled in the area by Orlando Rincon. Luna took the penalty shot but Jorge Villalpando managed to block the shot with his legs to keep the score even.
In the 63rd, Herculez Gomez was subbed in and did what he has done all season: he made a difference. With the game looking as if it were going to end in tie, a loose ball found Alvaro Gonzalez outside the area.
Gonzalez passed it to Gomez who shot across keeper Adrian Martinez to give the home squad the winner in the 87th.
It was Gomez' second goal of the season and one of several games which he has influenced. Gomez will look to continue the momentum when Puebla visits league leader Chivas.
Tigres 1- 2 Santos
Tigres were unable to bounce back from their loss to Monterrey last season as they fell once again to Santos Laguna in the Estadio Universitario on Thursday night.
Luck seemed to be on the home squad's side when Edgar Casillo passed to Davido Toledo who shot a laser that beat former Mexician national team keeper, Oswaldo Sanchez.
However the lead wouldn't last. Ivan Estrada, beat Edgar Catillo on the left side and crossed into the area in the 21st minute and found Daniel Ladueña who leaped and shot midair in an incredible goal to tie things up.
In the 51st, a free kick by Ladueña connected with Jonathan Lacerda whose header beat Cirilo Saucedo to give the visitors the lead.
Castillo was subbed off the in 75th, as he was constantly beat on the left side; a reoccurring theme in this season.
Tigres now have five points in six games and see their season slipping away. They will have the difficult task of turning things around when they face América in Mexico City on Sunday.