Wins for every member of the top six saw the Clausura table barely alter this weekend, although Atlante and Chiapas pulled away from the bottom with crucial wins.
Guadalajara and Toluca fell to defeat which also left them in trouble at the bottom with just two games remaining.
Leaders Tigres bounced back from their first defeat of the season last weekend, to beat Pachuca by three goals to one at Estadio Universitaro. Carlos Salcido was the man to open the scoring in the 22nd minute, and captain Lucas Lobos put the home side into a commanding position at the break. Fernando Cavenaghi did pull a goal back with just under half an hour to play but Salcido popped up again to seal victory in the dying minutes of the match.
Atlas scraped passed Guadalajara in front of their home faithful thanks to Rodrigo Millar’s 30th minute strike. The Chilean midfielder was found unmarked at the back post by Amaury Ponce’s low cross, and he made no mistake from no more than a yard out to secure a priceless victory for the title chasers.
Third placed America stumbled over the line against play-off chasing Pumas UNAM. Ecudaorian striker Chucho Benitez was the match winner, as he headed home from Rubens Sambueza’s cross after a clever short corner. Both sides finished with ten men, as Martin Bravo saw red for the visitors before Jesus Molina was shown a second yellow card with just over 20 minutes to play.
Another one-goal margin allowed Santos Laguna to keep pace as they dented Monterrey’s play-off aspirations. Panamanian defender Felipe Baloy was the somewhat unlikely goalscorer, as he was left alone at the back post to head home Osmar Mares’ teasing corner to keep the home side in contention at the Clausura summit.
Morelia left it late to keep their challenge on track, as Daniel Marquez’s 35th minute effort had set Tijuana on course for victory. It was not to be however, as Hector Mancilla struck twice in two minutes with 15 minutes to play to deny the home side. Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo also saw red for Xolos as the game ticked in to added time.
Cruz Azul looked comfortable as they put Toluca to the sword, running out 2-0 winners at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. Christian Gimenez broke the deadlock in the 19th minute before Luis Perea doubled the advantage with a fine header after half an hour, much to the delight of the travelling support. Both goalkeepers were well tested thereafter, but neither defence was breached again as the visitors took all three points back to the capital.
Queretaro lept into eighth spot as they beat San Luis Potosi at Estadio La Corregidora, leaving the away side saddled to the bottom of the Clausura with only two games to find an escape route. The game was decided with three headed goals, and after Mario Ortiz’s diving header had given the away side the lead, Amaury Escoto levelled from close range. Wilberto Cosme grabbed the points with a back post header as a corner was flicked on by Mario Osuna in the 87th minute.
Struggling Chiapas and Club Leon both came away with a point from Friday's encounter, although neither side will be particularly happy with the outcome. Leyton Jimenez gave Jaguares the lead just after half time, and they doubled their lead through Luis Gabriel Rey’s deflected strike. Carlos Pena halved the deficit just three minutes later and Edwin Hernandez stole a point with the help of a cruel deflection in the final minutes.
Atlante opened up a three point gap between them and the bottom two, with victory over Puebla at Estadio Andres Quintana Roo. Esteban Paredes was the hero with both goals, tapping home from Alexandro Alvarez’s fumble for his first, whilst finding space to head home at the near post for his second in the last minute of normal time.
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