WOODY BAUM - Monday, March 29, 2010
Herculez Gomez netted again to lift Puebla over America, while Francisco Torres contributed in a crucial win for Pachuca.
Atlante 3 0 Indios
Marco Vidal started and played the entire 90 minutes for Indios as their hopes of beating relegation were dashed this Saturday with a three-goal loss to Atlante in Cancun.
The game started slowly with few clear opportunities for either team. Alain N'Kong had the first real chance for Indios when, with only the keeper to beat in the area, he tripped himself up over the ball and was unable to put it away.
Atlante played some of their best soccer all season long in the second half and quickly took the lead in the 55th minute, when Johan Fano scored his fourth goal in four games.
Jose Gonzalez quickly followed up in the 66th minute off a pass from Johan Fano, and the Venezuelan Giancarlo Maldonado put the home team up by three off a penalty kick in the 87th minute.
Indios will host Pachuca next Saturday.
Tigres 0 1 Tolouca
Tigres now have a worse home record than Indios after having lost again at home, this time to Toluca this Saturday, with their troubles possibly compounded due to an injury to Edgar Castillo.
Tigres, ironically, played their best defense all season long preventing Sinha and the Toluca offense from mounting a credible attack. However, in the second half, despite Tigres' defensive efforts, Toluca took the lead.
In the 77th minute, Sinha centered perfectly for Carlos Esquival, who chested the ball down, turned and shot past Cirilo Saucedo.
Tigres was unable to come up with an answer to the first goal and now remain winless at home this season. Luckily for Tigres, they have been saved from relegation due to Indios' loss.
Castillo started and played 36 minutes before coming out injured. There is still no definite answer as to how long he will be out.
Tigres visit San Luis next week.
Pachuca 1 0 Morelia
Pachuca beat Morelia this Saturday in the Estadio Hidalgo in a crucial game that keeps Pachuca's playoff hopes alive. It was the first time that Pachuca had won since week five and it could not have come at a better moment against their group rivals.
It was Pachuca who would create the chances early on with Edgar Benitez coming very close in the 28th minute. However, only seven minutes later, Benitez delivered a strong center that Daniel Manso was able to reach and tap in to put the Tuzos up in the 34th minute.
It would be the only goal in the encounter as Morelia, despite being behind most of the game, seemed content to play defensively and at a casual pace.
Francisco Torres started and played 70 minutes before being substituted out for Hector Diaz. Pachuca visit struggling Indios next weekend.
Puebla 2 1 America
Bringing in Herculez Gomez may have been the smartest signing in the career of Puebla head coach Jose Luis Sanchez. The embattled coach had previously promised that if Puebla did not beat America, he would resign. It was a close encounter, but it was the American Herculez Gomez who scored in the 77th minute what would be the winning goal for Puebla to save his head coaches job.
It was a back and forth game with America frequently exploiting the defensive gaps on Puebla's left side. Despite various close chances for both teams, Carlos Ruiz struck first in the 55th, converting a counterattack initiated from a turnover by America.
Herculez Gomez entered the game in the 60th minute and would make his impact felt.
In the 77th, Gomez drew a foul outside the area. He took the free kick, lifting the ball just over the wall and making America Goalkeeper Memo Ochoa miss to put Puebla up by a pair.
The two goal lead did not last long as America quickly scored a minute later off a header by Daniel Marquez. Puebla managed to hold onto the lead, however, and Jose Luis Sanchez managed to hold on to his job a little longer.
Puebla will visit Morelia next week.