CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Monday, August 13, 2012
Santos Laguna suffered a shock defeat, Tijuana lost an opportunity, and San Luis continued their dismal winless streak in week four of Liga MX action.
Leon 3-0 Santos Laguna
Herculez Gomez started and played 55 minutes for Santos Laguna, picking up a yellow card in the first half for a hard foul on Carlos Pena.
Santos Laguna came into the game with the expectations of winning against the top division's newest team, and taking over the Liga MX lead in the process. Leon had something to say about that though as they continued their surprising run by taking the game to Santos from the opening whistle.
Leon pushed through into the lead in the 31st minute off of a Luis Montes corner kick from the left side of the field. His outswinging ball went right to the top of the goal box and was headed home with authority by defender Juan Ibarra.
The lead was doubled in minute 75 when Nelson Maz took a long ball down with his chest while running into the box, and beat the sliding tackle of Aaron Galindo to get alone in the box. Maz calmly shot the ball low past Oswaldo Sanchez to the far post to get the goal.
Leon's dismantling of Santos was completed in the 85th minute when Carlos Pena found himself open in the box to get on the end of a swerving free kick from the left flank. Pena easily put his head on the ball and deflected it to the far post and in, sending the home crowd into hysterics.
The loss was Santos Laguna's first of the campaign, and now leaves them five points back from league leading Toluca.
Santos Laguna will next host Pumas on Saturday, August 18.
Pachuca 2-2 Tijuana
Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona both played 90 minutes for Tijuana, while Jose Torres started and was subbed out at halftime for Pachuca. Greg Garza and Alejandro Guido did not dress for Tijuana.
Pablo Aguilar opened up the scoring for the evening in the 34th minute when Leandro Augusto controlled the ball just outside the right side of the penalty box. Augusto sent the ball on, where Aguilar drove in towards the back post without a mark. Aguilar was able to easily get his head on the cross and send it past goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota.
Felix Borja pulled the score back for Pachuca in the 61st minute when Mauro Cejas curled in a corner kick from the left side. Borja rose above the defense to head the ball on goal, past Cirilo Saucedo.
Fernando Arce put Tijuana back in the lead only three minutes later, as he took a free kick from about 35 yards out, dead center on goal. His kick was a chip into the danger zone just outside the edge of the goal box, and Javier Gandolfi barely mistimed his leaping header, missing the ball entirely. Nevertheless, Gandolfi had drawn Cota's eye, and anticipating the header, the goalkeeper leaned in the wrong direction, allowing the untouched free kick to go into the goal.
Tijuana looked to have the victory sealed up, and a chance to move up the standings to second place, but Nery Castillo ended that dream in the 89th minute with a thunderous half volley from the top of the box that scraped in under the cross bar to rescue a point for Pachuca.
Tijuana dropped down to sixth place, and are now five points behind Toluca for the lead. The Xolos next host Tigres on Friday, August 17.
Pachuca now has five points from their four games, which is good enough for 12th in the standings. Torres and company will visit league leading Toluca next week on Sunday, August 19.
San Luis 1-1 Monterrey
Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes for San Luis in their continuous winless streak.
Humberto Sauzo started things off early for Monterrey in the 10th minute, taking a leading pass from Cesar Delgado that split the defense and sent the striker to the top of the box. Sauzo wound up and rifled a low shot past Oscar Perez to take the lead.
Seemingly against all odds, San Luis pulled the goal back in the 48th minute when Luis Rodriguez staked out a position just at the top of the goal box as Sebastian Fernandez dribbled to the touchline just left of the goal. Fernandez cut the ball back with a pass that miraculously found Rodriguez, and the midfielder buried his bouncing shot past goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.
San Luis have not won a league game since March, but even so their two points this season are enough to keep them in 14th place in the standings. They will next host Chivas on Saturday, August 18 in a game that may see one of the two teams win their first game of the season.
Puebla 0-1 Cruz Azul
DaMarcus Beasley started and played 90 minutes for Puebla as they attempted to break out of their slump against the slow starting Cruz Azul.
In a game that was lacking highlights, one of the few notable events was Omar Bravo blasting a shot off the cross bar in the 7th minute, narrowly missing putting Cruz Azul into an early lead.
In the 80th minute, Matias Alustiza led a charge up the right flank for Puebla, taking two defenders with him before getting to the corner of the box, pulling the ball back behind him and making a square pass to the top of the box, finding his strike partner Matias Abelairas wide open without a defender in shouting distance.
Abelairas was not counting on goalkeeper Gutierrez Yosgart coming out off his line so quickly though. Yosgart had anticipated the pass and sprinted to close down Abelairas before the striker could settle the ball, and forced an early shot that was well saved.
The ball was sent back on a Cruz Azul counter attack that saw Javier Penuelas play a well weighted pass to the top of the goalbox that Mariano Pavone was able to get to before any of the Puebla defenders or goalkeeper Alexandro Olivares. His glancing shot was enough to make it to the back of the net to give Cruz Azul the winner.
Puebla will travel to Morelia on Friday, August 17 for their next game.
Lobos BUAP 3-0 Celaya
Marco Vidal started and played 90 minutes for Lobos as they took on Celaya in second division action.
In the 25th minute, Diego Souza made a quick heads up play just to the right of the goal, about three yards from the touchline. With the ball coming to him, his back to goal and a defender climbing all over, Souza made a deft drop pass to Omar Tejeda who was sprinting into the box. The drop was paced perfectly into the stride of Tejeda who struck the shot with authority past goalkeeper Elohe Solorzano.
Defender Oscar Talancon was dragged down in the box in the 47th minute, resulting in a Lobos penalty kick to be taken by Hebert Alferez. The steady striker stepped up and slid his shot to the lower left side of the goal, easily beating Solorzano to double the lead.
Tejeda capped off the game with a beautiful solo effort in the 59th minute, taking on two defenders as he dribbled into the right side of the box. Beating neither of them but shielding them both off the ball, he managed to open a step of space and drill a shot from a sharp angle over the head of Solorzano and to the far post, for his second of the game.
Lobos currently sit in second place in the standings, three points out of first. They will travel to La Piedad on Sunday, August 19 for their next game.
Ventura Alvarado was an unused substitute for America in their 1-1 tie with Atlas.
Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres in their 2-2 tie with Queretaro.