CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Monday, October 31, 2011
DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla had the only positive result over the weekend, as Herculez Gomez suffered his second straight loss and Michael Orozco settled for a draw.
Puebla 3 - 2 America
DaMarcus Beasley started and went 90 minutes as Puebla won a thriller over America.
America launched an early bid for victory as they took the lead in the second minute after a Puebla turnover. Cristian Benitez picked up the ball from about 40 yards out, and dribbled into the offensive third, drawing Puebla defenders.
Benitez played a sharp ball to his left into the path of Jiminez who took one quick touch and fired the ball into the lower left corner of the goal from about 21 yards out, beating goalkeeper Alexandro Olivares.
Puebla would respond in the 42nd minute with a Luis Garcia goal, as a build up from half field found Lucas Silva running down the right flank. Silva fired a pass into the box in front of the goal, about eight yards out. Garcia slid past defender George Corral and got to the ball first, knocking it past goalkeeper Armando Navarette and into the goal.
Only three minutes later, Duvier Riascos would strike just before the half time whistle. Navarette flubbed a goal kick mere seconds before the break, dropping the ball right to Riascos about 40 yards from goal, with one defender to beat. Riascos ran at goal, where defender Aquivaldo Mosquera did well to recover his position, and delay long enough for Juan Valenzuela to get back to support.
Riascos, rather than taking on two defenders at this point, completed Navarette's horror sequence by stopping his run, gaining a step of space, and simply chipping the ball over Navarette from 22 yards out. Navarette, after the bad goal kick, never went back to his line, and he helplessly watched the ball sail over his head to give Puebla the lead.
In the 81st minute, Garcia would score one more time to put the game out of reach for America. Garcia stepped up to take a free kick from dead center, 19 yards out.
His shot went cleanly through the wall and off the underside of the crossbar, without a chance for Navarette to save it.
America would pull one back in the closing minutes of the game, as Vicente Vuoso took a long ball into the box and off the bounce with his first touch lofted it over the head of Olivares from just inside the left corner of the box.
America would not have time to pull back the equalizer, as the game would end mere minutes later. With the victory, Puebla moved up to 9th place with one game to go in the Apertura, the first half of the Mexican Primera season.
Puebla will next host Tigres on November 6 while America will travel to Cruz Azul one day earlier.
Cruz Azul 2 - 0 Estudiantes Tecos
Herculez Gomez was kept off the score sheet for the second straight game as he started and played 81 minutes in Estudiantes loss to Cruz Azul.
After dominating the first half, Cruz Azul finally took the lead in the 48th minute after Christian Giminez converted a penalty kick, after a foul in the box off of a free kick scrum.
Giminez slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, while goalkeeper Christian Martinez came within a fraction of an inch of getting a hand on the ball.
Emanuel Villa would put Cruz Azul up by another goal just 12 minutes later, when Javier Orozco had his shot from outside the 18 blocked. The ball took a fortuitous bounce and landed right at the feet of Villa at the penalty spot, who had no one around him as he slotted the ball home.
Cruz Azul's victory moved them up to a tie for second place, being behind Chiapas in goal differential. Tecos' loss dropped them to 15th.
Estudiantes will next travel to Queretaro on Saturday November 5.
San Luis 0 - 0 Tijuana
Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes while picking up a yellow card in his second straight game in what was a mostly uneventful game between midpack San Luis and bottom dwellers Tijuana.
Wilver Aguirre had the best chance of the game to score in the 33rd minute, as he received the ball wide open three steps from the goal, in front of an open net.
Rather than striking it cleanly forward for a goal, he struck the ball off of his heel and backwards, where it would then be kicked out of bounds.
Tijuana's Jose Sand would receive a red card in the 61st minute after casually stepping on Jose Gonzalez, as Gonzalez slid in for a challenge. It almost looked incidental as it happened, but replays showed that Sand changed the direction of where his foot was going to land in his natural stride, to come down early and directly on top of the Gonzalez's ankle.
In the 88th minute, Michael Orozco appeared to be the villain of the match as brought down Mauro Gerk about six yards from goal. Orozco was on Gerk's back and slung him to the ground as a ball was played into the box.
Without hesitation, a penalty was called and Orozco was issued a yellow card. Dayro Moreno could have put ten-man Tijuana ahead and on their way to likely victory, but failed to convert the penalty. It was struck hard on the ground, but missed wide of the left post.
Jonathan Bornstein popped back onto the radar as he dressed and made the bench for Tigres in their 2-1 win over Santos
Edgar Castillo did not dress for America in their loss to Puebla.
Adrian Ruelas did not dress for Chiapas in their 4-0 victory over Pumas.
Daniel Antunez did not dress for Estudiantes in their 0-2 loss to Cruz Azul.