WOODY BAUM - Monday, February 22, 2010
Herculez Gomez scores again in his third start of the season with Puebla but is unable to do what no team has done so far this season; defeat Chivas.
Jaguares 2 - 2 Pachuca
It was not the way Pachuca wanted to respond to their loss to Chivas when they tied Jaguares in Chiapas on Saturday afternoon. The Tuzos were unable to convert, what on paper should have been an easy game as they faced a Jaguares team that has not won at home this season.
However, there were quickly surprised when Colombian Jackson Martinez scored in the fifth minute off a pass from Oscar Razo to give the home side the lead. Pachuca, despite trailing, dominated the first half although their chances never materialized until a give and go between Ulises Mendevil and Edgar Benitez found Benitez alone with the ball in the area with only the keeper to beat. His shot beat the keeper but bounced off the right post. However Benitez got to the rebound first and put it in to level the score.
In the second half, Jaguares wasted no time when in the 48th minute, Jackson Martinez once again found the ball in the area alone. He crossed it to an unmarked Edgar Andrade who easily beat Pachuca keeper Miguel Calero. Jaguares had barely finished celebrating when one minute laster, a streaking Edgar Benitez collected a long ball, beat the defender in a one on one, and put the ball under Oscar Perez to tie things up.
With the score level, both teams looked for the lead and created several real chances but were unable to finish. Francisco Torres got the start again and played the full 90 minutes. The midfielder did a decent job distributing the ball and changing sides.
The Tuzos will return to Hidalgo with a disappointing one point after outplaying their opponents. They take on Pumas next week at home.
Chivas 3 - 2 Puebla
Chivas did what they do best this Saturday when they hosted Puebla and Herculez Gomez on Saturday - win. Chivas has now won seven in a row and look more dangerous with each week.
Chivas got on the scoreboard first when Adolfo Bautista beat Manuel Lopez in the area and put it past Jorge Villalpando in the sixth minute. Herculez Gomez started for the third time this season and played 75 minutes. He rewarded his coach's decision when he collected a center from Manuel Lopez and shot it past Luis Enesto Michel to tie things up in the 25th. Gomez did well to take advantage of an error by defender Johnny Magallon who failed to clear. It was Gomez' third goal of the season.
Right before halftime, Bautista scored his second goal of the day when he headed in a center from Alberto Molina in the 45th.
Chivas kept attacking and applying pressure and in the 54th found themselves up by two after a center into the area by Omar Bravo was deflected but found the feet of Xavier Baez who put it in for his second goal in two games.
Puebla would have to play the majority of the second half without their coach as Jose Luis Sanchez was sent off for arguing with the officials in the 56th.
The visitors came within one when Marcelo Palau took a free kick outside the area in the 56th. His shot beat the wall and with force went into the upper right hand corner that Michel had no chance of stopping. Puebla wouldn't give up and had a clear chance when Carlos Ruiz was one on one with the goalie, but his shot was deflected by Michel.
Chivas maintained their lead and status within the tournament. Puebla will try to recover when they host Jaguares next week.
Indios 0 - 0 Cruz Azul
Indios once again failed to win, although they were able to pick up a point against a very game Cruz Azul this Sunday in Ciudad Juarez.
Marco Vidal started and played the entire 90 in this encounter which saw Indios show up with a defensive formation, ceding the midfield to Cruz Azul and staying compact. The formation would be a necessity when Javier Malagueno was sent off in the 25th forcing the home squad to play a man down the entire game.
Cruz Azul dominated the encounter but were unable to generate any real danger for the majority of the 90 minutes as Indios was content to sit back. Indios, on their part, played better in this game than they have in many of their matches so far this tournament which begs the question; should they try playing a man down from now on?
Indios winless streak continues and they seem destined to relegation. Despite this they continue to play hard. They will visit league powerhouse, Toluca, next week.
America 2 - 2 Tigres
Tigres blew the opportunity to leave Mexico City with three points when an own goal in the 89th minute denied the Monterrey squad a much needed victory.
America set the tone in the 16th minute when a center by Angel Reyna was headed in by Luis Sandoval to give the home side the lead. However, Tigres quickly responded in the 25th minute when Jesus Molina scored off a header from a center by Lucas Lobos to tie up the game.
Edgar Castillo started and played the entire game. His defense was much improved from last week's encounter against Santos, although he did give up a hand ball outside the area in the 40th. Luckily for Tigres, Pavel Pardo's free kick went high.
Tigres took the lead in the 71st when on a free kick from outside the area, Brazilian Itamar Batista gently tapped the ball to Lucas Lobos who delivered a hard shot that Mexican national team goalkeeper, Memo Ochoa, could not reach.
Tigres appeared destined to escape the Azteca with three points when in the 89th minute, Pavel Pardo centered into the area. Antonio Lopez got a head on it and his header was deflected by Tigres defender Alfredo Tahuilan and went into the goal.
This was a match both teams needed to win. While a point in the Azteca is never a bad result, giving up the lead in the 89th will not leave the Tigres squad happy on their trip back to Monterrey. They host Morelia next week.
Sammy Ochoa did not play in Estudiantes' tie over Santos.