EDGAR ZUNIGA - Monday, September 24, 2012
Beasley finally got a point, Torres and Pachuca continue to struggle, Santos and Jaguares went scoreless but wowed the fans, and Tijuana remained unbeaten at home-barely.
Puebla 1-1 León
DaMarcus Beasley set up his team's lone goal as they came back to scratch out a draw against visiting fourth-place León.
Although Beasley was brought on to give Puebla some scoring punch, he has yet to find the back of the net after nine regular season matches, but at least he was able to notch an assist in his team's 1-1 draw.
Puebla has struggled mightily all season long and it looked like they would be headed for another defeat as León pressed the attack against a meek and defensive Puebla squad.
Despite an advantage in possession, León scored their goal off a set piece in the 29th minute, when Nelson Maz headed in a pass off a terrific free kick from Darío Burbano, who lobbed the ball into the box from near the center circle.
At halftime, boos rained down from frustrated Puebla supporters, who expected another loss for their beleaguered team.
However, in the second half, León got lax on ball possession and their attack and Puebla started to create more chances.
Then, in the 66th minute, Beasley used his speed to streak to the top of the arc, drawing some defenders, before laying off a pass to his right to an unmarked Matías Abelairas, who fired a low shot that took one bounce before going into the net between the 'keeper and the near post.
The goal energized the Puebla offense, which pressed against a suddenly defensive León. However, despite numerous opportunities, including a few from Beasley, Puebla was unable to break the deadlock and settled for the 1-1 draw, giving them a 4-point edge over last place Querétaro.
San Luis 1-0 Pachuca
It was a match between two awful squads, but, in the end, San Luis was able to give their home supporters their first home win of the season.
José Francisco Torres got the start for Pachuca but was largely a non-factor throughout most of the match and was subbed out in the 68th minute.
Truth be told, Pachuca lacked any punch in this match and was unable to overcome a goal from San Luis in the 38th minute, when San Luis captain Jaime Correa fired a waist-high shot that beat outstretched Pachuca goalkeeper Rodolfo Costa.
Michael Orozco Fiscal, who didn't start, finally saw some action in the 81st minute but didn't figure much in trying to add to his team's marginal lead.
Both teams are mired near the bottom of the table, but, with the victory, San Luis crawled to 15th place and sit just 2 points behind 14th place Pachuca.
Santos Laguna 0-0 Jaguares
Despite both teams being unable to find the net, it was an entertaining match, as both teams fought from whistle to whistle for the victory.
Both Hérculez Gómez and Benji Joya didn't get the start for Santos Laguna, but did come on as subs in the second half.
It was a back-and-forth affair as both teams had numerous opportunities to score but were unable to do so, despite great attacking rhythm and a fierce battle for possession.
Joya came on in the 54th minute and combined with Alonso Escoboza (who subbed in 10 minutes later) to create some scoring chances for Santos, but they were unable to beat Jaguares goalkeeper Edgar Hernández.
Unfortunately, Herc didn't get much time to do anything, subbing in with 4 minutes to go.
The draw left Santos in the middle of the pack, while Jaguares continue to struggle near the bottom of the table.
Club Tijuana 1-1 Atlas
The Xoloitzcuintles remained unbeaten at home after battling to a 1-1 affair with visiting Atlas, who have mastered the art of the draw, reaching 7 ties to go with 1 win and 1 loss.
Although Greg Garza was unable to get on the field, Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo both got the start for Club Tijuana, who had to fight back to avoid falling at home.
The Xolos controlled the run of play for most of the match, while Atlas sat back, waiting for any mistakes from the home squad.
That came in the 30th minute, when Tijuana midfielder Fernando Arce lost the ball and Atlas forward Sergio Santana carried the ball into the Tijuana half and passed to Hector Mancilla, who was able to lose his defender with a feint in the box and blasted a shot past Tijuana 'keeper Cirilo Saucedo.
Corona was subbed out in the 69th minute for Diego Olsina but not before having a clear shot on goal on a header that was deflected by Atlas goalkeeper Miguel Pinto.
Tijuana's goal finally came in the 75th minute, when Olsina received a lob from Alfredo Moreno and passed to Duvier Riascos, who fired home the goal to save the game for the Xolos.
Nevertheless, Tijuana was unable to add to their tally of four consecutive victories and fell to second place behind Toluca, on goal differential.