CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Herculez Gomez and Edgar Castillo both found success, with a goal and a spectacular assist in week 9.
Santos Laguna 5-2 San Luis
Herculez Gomez started and played 77 minutes for Santos Laguna in their dominant win over San Luis.
Oribe Morones started things off quickly for Santos, scoring the opening goal in the 4th minute. Morones gathered a pass from Juan Rodriguez by himself on the right side of the offensive third, and marched his way into the box unopposed, beating goalkeeper Oscar Perez with a low shot to the far post.
In the 17th minute, Morones took another deft pass from Rodriguez as he was falling to the ground, leaving him in a foot race with the defense about 22 yards from goal. Morones shielded defender Anibal Matellan off the ball and struck a low shot with his left foot to the far right post, beating Perez for his second goal.
San Luis would pull one back in the 27th minute on a Facunda Pereyra penalty kick, drawn from Cesar Jiminez handball in the box that also drew him a yellow card. The goal was only San Luis's fifth goal in 9 games.
In the 40th minute, Pereyra would hold the ball up in the middle of the penalty box, before laying it off to Wilmer Aguirre who struck it home low and hard to the far post from about 12 yards out, to the left of the goal. With the score even, the teams went into the locker rooms at half time to regroup, and with Santos in particular trying to figure out what went wrong after such a dominant start to the game.
Nine minutes into the second half, Herculez Gomez would get on the board, putting San Luis ahead with the eventual game winner. Midfielder Carlos Morales struck a hard ball from the left corner of the box, across the six yard box. Whether it was meant to be a pass or shot is of no concern, because the ball fell perfectly in the path of a stretching Gomez, who one timed it to the near post and in.
Santos would double the lead again in the 71st minute, with Morones completing his hat trick, scoring on a nice header from a Morales cross from the left sideline.
Morones would complete his spectacular day by netting his fourth goal in the 80th minute, capitalizing on a terrible mistake from San Luis midfielder Ignacio Torres, who gave the ball away to Morones about 23 yards from goal near the left side of the box. Morones struck the ball like it was a back pass, curling it around Perez to the far post.
The win kept Santos within three points of first place in the standings. Their next game will be hosting Puebla on March 10.
Tijuana 2-0 Estudiantes
Edgar Castillo played 90 minutes, Joe Corona came in at half time and lasted the rest of the game, and Greg Garza came in as an 83rd minute substitute for TijuanAmerica.
A fairly uneventful first half gave way to fireworks in the second as Castillo went on a run that would have National Team fans wondering if he could replicate it for the red, white and blue. After a free kick sent the ball into the center of the offensive third, Castillo went on a streaking run from the left wing, received a pass near the top of the left side of the box, but was cut off by forward Rodrigo Ruiz who had come back on defense to help out. Taking Ruiz out wide, Castillo did a step over, caught Ruiz leaning the wrong direction, and turned the corner to goal. Running along the touch line, he cut past defender Marcelo Alatorre who slid in for the challenge. Alone with the goalkeeper in front of him and onrushing teammates in front of the goal, Castillo tried slotting the ball past goalkeeper Christian Martinez into the melee, but Martinez deflected the ball up and over himself. Castillo continued his run past Martinez, leaped and headed the ball to teammate Jose Sand, who would finish the play, scoring the opening goal.
Egidio Arevalo would insure Tijuana's victory in the 80th minute, as a long ball into the Tecos box saw Alatorre head a weak ball out to the top of the box, right into the path of Arevalo who slammed a full volley to the far post from 19 yards out.
Tijuana's win kept the moving back up the standings, keeping them just out of the top three, and four points out of first. Tijuana will next host America on March 9.
Puebla 1-2 Chivas
DaMarcus Beasley was a 69th minute substitute for Puebla as their mediocre season continued, falling to struggling Chivas.
Puebla took the lead just before halftime in the 44th minute, as Luis Cortes played a chip to Luis Garcia in the box, who took a lovely chest trap between the defenders, freeing himself up at the penalty spot to shoot past Luis Michel.
On the other side of halftime, in the 50th minute, Jonathan Laserda, starting defender for Puebla, fouled Erick Torres in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Hector Lopez converted it to even the score.
Nine minutes later, a Chivas had a corner kick played into the box, where the ball was struck towards goal, taking an unfortunate bounce off of Diego Cervantes who was subbed on only a couple of minutes earlier. The ball deflected off of his leg and into the goal, putting Chivas in the lead.
The score would stand, but perhaps the most dramatic scene of the night came in the 90th minute as Chivas' Torres tried to beat Gonzalo Pineda on the dribble. Torres leg appeared to go out when he planted, and he collapsed to the ground, leaving the ball for Puebla. Torres immediately began stretching his leg, appearing to have a cramp in his left hamstring. Puebla's Alan Zamora took exception to the muscle cramp, and decided to help the healing process along by grabbing Torres's foot, lifting it to the sky and wrenching his leg around. Torres's teammates took exception to this unauthorized medical treatment and swarmed to Torres's defense, causing a melee on the pitch as several players begin pulling hair and jerseys, slapping one another and eventually seeing Puebla goalkeeper Alexandro Olivares pick Torres up like a toddler and try to carry him off the field, before being stopped by irate Chivas players.
Beasley tried for a brief period of time to break the madness up, but had little success in calming the tempers.
The loss dropped Puebla to 14th place, where they are now only ahead of Chivas on goal differential. They will next play at Santos on March 10.
Jose Torres was out with injury for Pachuca's 0-0 tie with Atlas.
Jonathan Bornstein was an unused substitute for Tigres as they beat Atlante 1-0.
Victor Garza did not dress for Tigres.