EDGAR ZUNIGA - Monday, September 19, 2011
Herculez Gomez scored late for Estudiantes Tecos in their victory over Club Tijuana, while DaMarcus Beasley and Paco Torres each earned their club a penalty kick in Mexico this weekend.
CD Guadalajara 1 - 4 Puebla
DaMarcus Beasley and his Puebla teammates spoiled the Goats' homecoming to legendary Estadio Jalisco with a crushing result that knocked the home team from the top of the standings.
Things actually began well for Chivas, getting on the board first in the 26th minute on a penalty kick by Marco Fabian de la Mora. Referee Miguel Rojas called for the penalty after Gonzalo Pineda's high kick was whistled for dangerous play while Hector Reynoso tried to score on a header off a centering pass by Alberto Medina.
However, this would be the only bright spot for Chivas, as Puebla had been the more offensive team from the beginning. Puebla's persistence paid off right before halftime, when Lucas Silva took the ball from just outside the area, opened up some space for himself and delivered a cross beyond the reach of Chivas 'keeper Luis Michel.
In the 57th minute, Beasley beat four defenders and fired a shot that rebounded off Michel to Beasley's feet. However, Jonny Magallon took out Beasley before he had a chance to shoot again, earning himself a straight red and giving Puebla a penalty, which was scored by Luis Garcia.
Chivas tried in vain to even the score, but were just able to keep Puebla from adding to their tally.
Chaos completely engulfed the Goats in the 87th minute, when Kristian Alvarez earned his second yellow and expulsion, leaving Chivas without two of their starting defenders.
Two minutes later, Silva took a long pass from Isaac Romo and was able to fool the Chivas defenders and Michel to score Puebla's third goal.
In the 94th minute, Pineda took the ball to the Chivas touchline and passed to Alan Zamora, who calmly tapped the ball into the net for the 4-1 final score.
With the loss, Chivas falls to third place, based on goal differential, while Puebla moved up to seventh.
Beasley and Puebla look to continue their climb next week, when they play hosts to Santos Laguna.
Pachuca 4 - 2 Atlas
Jose Francisco Torres got his fifth consecutive start as Pachuca delivered a beatdown to the visiting Zorros.
Atlas went ahead in 15th minute, taking the lead when Jesus Paganoni ventured unmarked into the area from the right and passed to a streaking Mauricio Romero who got a shot off despite being shadowed by a defender and past 'keeper Carlos Fernandez.
Enrique Esqueda tied things up in the 26th minute with a sensational play from the right side in which he brought down a pass with his right foot, swung to the inside past a defender and unleashed a left-footed shot to the far post that froze Atlas 'keeper Miguel Angel Pinto.
Gerardo Rodriguez gave Pachuca the 2-1 lead in the 33rd minute, when he scored on a blistering shot after the ball had been knocked around the area.
Segundo Castillo added to Atlas' anguish in the 52nd with another golazo, a blast from well beyond the area that flew over Pinto's head and into the net.
In the 58th minute, Horacio Cervantes received his second yellow, leaving Pachuca with 10 men. Atlas went on the offensive and were able to shorten Pachuca's lead in the 68th when Georgie Wilson Welcome sent a through ball to onrushing Atlas midfielder Francisco Torres, who drilled a goal past Fernandez.
Jose Francisco Torres, who played the full 90, made his contribution as time was running out, going on a run into the area, where he was tackled hard, earning Pachuca a penalty kick, which Leobardo Lopez scored for the 4-2 final.
Pachuca crept back into the top 10, sitting in ninth place, while Atlas remains mired in last.
Torres looks to make it six starts in a row next week, as Pachuca receives a visit from Michael Orozco and San Luis.
San Luis 0 - 1 Santos Laguna
Benjamin Galindo, who played for Mexico in World Cup '94, was victorious in his first game back as head coach for Santos Laguna, which needed just one goal to beat the home team.
That lone goal came in the 12th minute when Daniel Ludueña stole the ball at the center circle, dribbled up the field and into the area, then fired a shot that beat outstretched Oscar Perez.
Santos nearly scored again near the end of the first half, when defender Santiago Hoyos ventured into the attacking zone and hit the ball off Perez's left post.
Hovering just above the bottom three in the standings, San Luis was unable to mount any sort of attacking threat and Santos 'keeper Oswaldo Sanchez earned the shutout.
In the 40th minute, Michael Orozco was the focus of a crushing tackle in which he was lucky not to get red-carded by referee Jorge Duran.
Struggling San Luis travels to Pachuca next week.
Club Tijuana 0 - 2 Estudiantes Tecos
Herculez Gomez's goal in the 92nd minute gave Tecos the insurance they needed to leave Tijuana with a well-deserved, hard-fought victory over the Xoloitzcuintles.
With Tijuana hanging by a thread over last-place Atlas and Tecos looking not to drop into the bottom half of the standings, the game prove to be a very defensive affair, characterized by a fierce midfield battle, with neither team wanting to give much ground.
As a result, there were few scoring opportunities.
Estudiantes nearly got on the board in the 16th minute, when a header by Juan Carlos Leaño was cleared off the line by Alejandro Molina.
The Xolos had their first opportunity to score in the 31st, when Jose Sand ventured into the area from the left side and fired a potent shot that Guadalupe Martinez knocked out of bounds for a Tijuana corner kick.
Tijuana tried to press on the attack to begin the second half. However, it was Tecos that found the net first.
A centering pass from the left side was headed out by Miguel Almazan, but it didn't travel far and toward the center of the area, where Hugo Colace took control of the ball and drove a shot past Cirilo Saucedo, giving Tecos the lead in the 54th minute.
The Xolos pressed on the attack against a bunkered-down Tecos squad but were unable to find any results.
With the game winding down, Gomez, who had entered as a sub in the 66th minute, was at the receiving end of a pass filtered into his path by Rubens Zambueza. The American fired a low cross past Saucedo, for his third goal of the season, securing the 2-0 win for the guests.
Next week, fifth-place Pumas pay Gomez and Tecos a visit in a crucial game for both teams, which are separated by two points.
Neither Adrian Ruelas nor Edgar Castillo figured in Jaguares' 5-3 dismantling of Club America, which remained entrenched near the bottom of the standings.
Jonathan Bornstein did not make the bench in Tigres' 1-0 loss to Atlante.
Marco Vidal started for Club Leon but was subbed out at halftime in his team's 1-2 loss to Pumas Morelos.