Tijuana and Tigres lead the way
Apertura champions Tijuana start the new season with a win, as do Tigres, Pachuca and America
It would have been easy to get caught up in an Apertura winning hysteria for Tijuana, but they showed no sign of cobwebs on the opening weekend of the Clausura.
Tigres opened their campaign with a thumping victory over Chiapas, whilst Morelia and Cruz Azul shared the points in a six-goal thriller at Estadio Morelos. Toluca could only draw at Guadalajara, and Queretaro started their season with a surprise draw at Club Leon.
Tijuana picked up where they left off as the Clausura kicked off, edging to victory over Puebla on Sunday. Duvier Riascos carried his form into the new season with the opening goal on the half-hour mark, and Cristian Pellerano made it two just before the break. Roberto Juarez gave the home side some hope as he reduced the deficit just before half-time but Xolos held on for the points.
UANL Tigres made a statement of intent on Saturday, courtesy of a second-half hat-trick from Emanuel Villa. The Argentinian repaid his new manager’s faith with goals in the 50th, 68th and 86th minute after a close season move from Pumas.
A neat finish for his first, a stinging strike beat Edgar Hernandez for his second, and the treble was wrapped up with a header from 10 yards out after great work from Lucas Lobos down the left flank.
Morelia welcomed Cruz Azul to Michoacan in the most action-packed game of the weekend. Jefferson Montero kicked things off for the hosts’ with the opening goal after just two minutes, and Hector Mancilla restored the advantage after Javier Orozco had levelled matters.
Veteran defender Luis Perea made it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time, before Orozco gave La Maquina the lead for the first time in the match. Their joy was short lived though as Rodrigo Salinas converted a 73rd minute penalty and Alejandro Vela saw red for two yellows in the dying moments, as both sides went home with a point.
Surprise Apertura package Leon were held by strugglers Queretaro, who rocked the home side with a late equaliser. Edwin Hernandez found the net with just a quarter of the game gone to give the home side the lead, though Omar Vasquez’s strike sent the sides in level at half-time.
Gustavo Matosas sent out a fired up Leon and they got their reward as Matias Britos restored the lead just after the restart in somewhat bizarre fashion, as Sergio Garcia’s clearance rebounded off the Uruguayan and into his net. The Nou Camp was left stunned however, as Amaury Escoto beat returning hero Rafael Marquez to grab a priceless point for the visitors.
Club America has Rubens Sambueza to thank as they edged past Monterrey at Estadio Azteca. Walter Ayovi’s 16th minute penalty gave Rayados a unexpected advantage, but parity was restored five minutes before the break. Jesus Molina saw his diving header beat Jonathan Orozco in the Monterrey goal to make it 1-1. As the clocked ticked down, Jose Maria Basanta was adjudged to have handled and Sambueza tucked away the resultant kick to steal all three points for the home side.
In a feisty affair at Estadio Alfonso Lastras, current Liga MX champions Santos Laguna could only manage a draw against San Luis Potosi. Herculez Gomez found the net just before the half-hour mark to give the away side the lead, but Guillermo Rojas levelled mid-way through the second period. Both sides were reduced to ten men late on, but neither could find the all-important goal that would have sealed victory.
Apertura runners up Toluca travelled to Guadalajara on the opening weekend, looking to return to winning ways, and they looked to have done so after rangy midfielder Lucas Silva gave them the lead with just six minutes remaining. Chivas though, fought back and found an even later equaliser through Miguel Sabah who also saw red before the final whistle.
Two second-half goals gave Pachuca victory in front of a near capacity crowd at Estadio Hidalgo on Saturday as they hosted Atlante. Hector Herrera struck in the 90th minute to wrap up the points, after Dario Carreno had earlier given the hosts’ the lead just past the hour.
Martin Bravo was denied a winning goal by his namesake Omar, as Atlas came from behind to gain a point at Pumas UNAM. The Argentinian striker was first off the mark for the season after 37 minutes, scuffing a volley into the bottom corner from six yards.
It took his Mexican opponent Omar until the 80th minute to reply, but he found the same corner to divert home Matias Vuoso’s low cross and grab a valuable point for Los Rojinegros.
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