CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Monday, October 24, 2011
Herculez Gomez scored twice to lead Tecos to victory over Santos, DaMarcus Beasley went the full 90 in Puebla's loss to Toluca, while Michael Orozco and Edgar Castillo both failed to see action.
Estudiantes Tecos 5-2 Santos Laguna
Herculez Gomez started and went 68 minutes as Tecos toppled league leaders Santos with an impressive flurry of finishing on Saturday at Estadio 3 De Marzo. Santos paid visit with expectations of extending their league lead with a victory over 15th place Tecos, but were met with stronger than anticipated resistance.
Gomez opened the scoring in the 3rd minute of the game after a buildup on the left flank from Jose Partida and Rubens Sambueza. Sambueza laid the ball off to Partida on an overlapping run to the corner, where Partida made a one touch service into the box. The cross found the head of Rodrigo Ruiz who nodded it down into the path of the streaking American. Gomez slid into contact with the ball inside the goal box and beat Santos defender Rafael Figueroa, knocking the ball past goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.
Gomez found the back of the net again in the 16th minute off of another cross from Sambueza on the left. The target this time was Eduardo Lillingston who got on the end of the ball, forcing a reflex save from Sanchez. The rebound fell to Gomez at the top of the goalbox who struck it in without hesitation.
Santos would pull the game back just after the second half however, scoring the next two goals. The first came from Carlos Darwin Quintero in the 47th minute, after a string of seven passes moved them from their own defensive third into the Tecos box. The final pass was a magnificent 30-yard lofted pass from Juan Rodriguez that found Quintero running into space in the box, who finished it first time off the half volley, beating goalkeeper Christian Martinez.
The next Santos goal came 22 minutes later in the 69th minute from Jorge Estrada Manjarrez, who picked up a loose ball outside the box about 25 yards out. He took a quick touch to set himself up and from the right side of the circle fired home from 23 yards. The shot beat Martinez's outstretched hands to the far post, and appeared to end Estudiantes' hopes for an upset.
The momentum swung back in favor of the home side in the 83rd minute as Braulio Luna, who had entered the game for Rodrigo Ruiz just a minute earlier, ran into the goalbox unmarked to head home a free kick from Sambueza, as the midfielder continued his impressive day of services from the left of the box. Luna made his run in from the back post and was noticed too late by defender Osmar Mares, who could only meekly raise his foot in protest.
Just two minutes later, Lillingston made up for his missed chance in the first half that resulted in Gomez's rebound goal, by finishing a pass across the box from who else but Sambueza, this time on the ground and from the right side. Sambueza was freed to run into the box as Lillingston drew two defenders on the left. He quickly played a lead pass to Sambueza who took it into the 18, beating defender Santiago Hoyos with a hesitation move before squaring across the box, back to Lillingston who calmly played the ball past Sanchez for the goal.
After creating the first four goals and directly assisting on two of them, Sambueza himself got on the score sheet in the 87th minute, after Jose Machado, who had entered the game for Gomez in the 68th minute, started a run at half field from the left flank, dribbling diagonally to the right side of the box before firing a shot that was blocked by midfielder Carlos Morales. The ball fell to Sambueza who rocketed a left footed curler to the far post, completing the Tecos captain's magnificent game.
The victory moved Tecos up into a four way tie in points for ninth place in the Primera Division, and now only five points out of first in the log jammed top half of the table.
Tecos will travel to Puebla on Wednesday, October 26th for their next game.
Toluca 4-3 Puebla
DaMarcus Beasley started and played 90 minutes against Toluca, who they were deadlocked at 13th place with in the Primera Division standings.
Puebla opened the scoring in the 13th minute as Gonzalo Pineda ran onto a perfectly placed through ball from Luis Garcia that set him up for goal at the left corner of the 18. Two soft touches was all Pineda needed to set himself up to strike the ball past goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera, beating him at the near post.
Toluca responded six minutes later in the 19th minute when Ivan Alonso got onto the end of a forty yard pass from Diego De la Torre. One quick touch past goalkeeper Alexandro Alvarez Olivares was all it took to give Alonso a wide open look at goal from the right side of the 18, and he made the most of his opportunity.
In keeping with the theme of a ping pong match, Puebla took the lead once more only four minutes later, this time benefiting from a blunder of epic proportions as Toluca defender Felix Araujo Razo tried valiantly to clear an aimless long ball into the box from Garcia, but succeeded only in deflecting the ball over Talavera's head and into his own net.
There would finally be a breather for the next twenty minutes, until Alonso struck again in the 42nd minute. This time the Uruguayan talisman took a free kick from 20 yards out just to the right of goal, curling the ball over the wall with his left foot and taking just the slightest defelction to the far post.
Alonso, evidently hearing that Herculez Gomez was interested in winning Mexico's Golden Boot, struck one more time to complete his hat trick in the 50th minute. After scoring with his foot in the run of play, then scoring with a free kick, he capped off his day in style by earning his third goal of the game with a header off of Aureliano Torres' cross from the left flank. Alonso slipped between midfielder Alvaro Ortiz Arellano and defender Diego Cervantes in the middle of the goalbox to head the ball past Olivares.
Carlos Esquivel would put the game out of reach in the 63rd minute by notching a nearly impossible goal from the touchline outside of the right of the 18, somehow finding a gap between Olivares and the near post. Esquivel was sprung into space by a pin point long ball from Naelson Sinha. Esquivel took one touch to control the ball, and struck what appeared to be a blind ball to keep it from going out for a goal kick. Olivares had ventured off of his line in anticipation of Esquivel crossing it to rushing teammates, and failed to retreat back to his line in time to keep the miraculous shot from going in.
A shred of hope would be returned to Puebla as Garcia would control the ball at the top of the 18 and fire a shot past Talavera in the 4th minute of stoppage time, but it would be too little too late.
The win moved Toluca up to 9th place, and dropped Puebla down to 15th.
Puebla will host Estudiantes Tecos on Wednesday, October 26th.
Daniel Antunez did not dress for Estudiantes as they defeated Santos 5-2.
Jonathan Bornstein continues to be MIA for Tigres as they drew Monterrey 0-0 over the weekend.
Jose Torres is still out injured for Pachuca as they drew Pumas 0-0.
Adrian Ruelas is on loan from Santos to Chiapas, and did not dress as they defeated San Luis 3-1.
Marco Vidal dressed but did not play for Club Leon as they drew Cruz Azul Hidalgo 1-1 in second division action.