EDGAR ZUNIGA - Monday, March 4, 2013
Herculez Gomez carried Santos Laguna to victory, José Francisco Torres and Tigres drew with Morelia, DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla won a tough game, while Club Tijuana struggled against Atlas.
Jaguares 1-3 Santos Laguna
Herculez Gomez scored a pair of goals to lead Santos Laguna to a victory on the road against Jaguares.
Gomez put Santos Laguna ahead in the 13th minute off an assist from Darwin Quintero. However, just three minutes later, Jaguares tied the game when Luis Gabriel Rey controlled a terrific centering pass from Ricardo Esqueda and capitalized on a bad mistake by goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez to put the ball in the net.
The Jaguares fans were still celebrating, when just a minute later Oribe Peralta put Santos Laguna back ahead when he took the ball himself and fired a powerful shot that beat Jaguares 'keeper Edgar Hernández.
Before Jaguares could recover, three minutes later, Gomez gave Santos Laguna the cushion they needed when he combined again with Quintero to produce a terrific goal that put Santos Laguna up 3-1.
Gomez made it as far as the 73rd minute before being subbed out for Andres Yair Renteria.
With the win, Santos remains in sixth place, with 15 points, while Jaguares continues to languish in 17th place, one step above the abyss.
Tigres 1-1 Morelia
José Francisco Torres started for Tigres as they gave up a very late goal and settled for a draw with visiting Morelia.
First place Tigres seemed to have wrapped up another win as they took a 1-0 score into the fourth minute of injury time when Héctor Raúl Mancilla carried the ball into the Tigres defense and was surrounded by five players before dishing off to Carlos Ochoa, who slammed the ball into the net.
Tigres had taken the lead in the 27th minute, when Lucas Lobos took a free kick that made its way into the net on a shot that Morelia 'keeper Federico Vilar could have stopped had he tried a bit harder.
Torres, who didn't figure in the scoring, was subbed out in the 72nd for Jesús Alberto Dueñas.
Losing the two points so late might come back to hurt Tigres, as second-place Atlas climbed to within a point of Tigres after defeating Club Tijuana. Despite the late heroics, Morelia dropped from ninth to 10th.
León 0-1 Puebla
With Michael Orozco out due to red-card suspension, it was just DaMarcus Beasley representing for the gringos as Puebla got an important victory on the road against León.
After a scoreless first half, Puebla scored the lone goal in the encounter in the 52nd minute when Diego Eduardo de Buen blasted a right-footed shot to the far post that beat debuting 'keeper William Yarbrough.
Puebla proved to be very aggressive throughout the game, amassing six yellow cards and one red-to Jaime Durán, who got a second yellow as the game was ending. Even Beasley picked up a yellow in the 26th minute.
The victory catapulted Puebla from 10th to seventh, just two points behind fourth place Club Tijuana. León, meanwhile, remain stuck near the bottom of the table and are far cry from last season.
Atlas 1-0 Club Tijuana
Atlas are showing signs of something special as they fought hard to earn a victory over visiting Liga MX champions Club Tijuana.
Edgar Castillo went the full 90 in his team's latest defeat, a tough 1-0 loss to second-place Atlas.
Doing double-duty in the Copa Libertadores, the Xoloitzcuintles are finding out how difficult it is to repeat as champions in Mexico as the loss to Atlas has them slip five points behind first-place Tigres and suddenly realize they're falling into the pack.
Atlas scored the only goal of the match in the third minute. Omar Bravo took control of the ball as he entered the 18-yard box, and fired a magnificent goal past Xolos 'keeper Cirilo Saucedo.
They made the goal stand up as Xolos furiously tried to score. However, Atlas buckled down and the match turned very physical, with referee César Arturo Ramos handing out 12 yellow cards (six per team) and two red cards-one of them a straight red to Club Tijuana's Joshua Ábrego in the 85th minute.
Fidel Martinez followed Ábrego to the locker room just two minutes later, when he received his second yellow of the night, as the Xolos finished with only nine players on the field.
Joe Corona saw limited action after subbing in the 73rd minute and was unable to generate a much-needed goal.