CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Wednesday, February 1, 2012
DaMarcus Beasley got the game winner in Puebla's win over Jaguars, while Herculez Gomez's Santos Laguna knocked off Edgar Castillo and company take over at the top of the standings.
Puebla 1-0 Chiapas
DaMarcus Beasley started and played 79 minutes for Puebla, doing his part to end their underwhelming start to the season.
Puebla went into the game with only one point to show for their first three games, while Chiapas wasn't much better with three points.
Beasley struck quickly, getting his goal in the 3rd minute of play. After an impressive build up from the right flank to the middle, Luis Garcia controlled the ball over the top of the box and spotted Beasley slashing into the left side. Garcia played him a wonderfully paced pace right into stride for Beasley, who cut it back past Miguel Martinez towards the center of the box, and then striking a lovely curling shot with his right foot, around goalkeeper Edgar Hernandez into the right side of the goal.
It isn't often that Beasley uses his right foot, but the shot was perfectly placed, indicating that he does, in fact, have use of his right foot.
The goal would stand to be the winner, moving Puebla three points away from the bottom two spots, shared by Estudiantes and Chivas.
Puebla will next host Tijuana on February 5.
Santos Laguna 3-1 Tijuana
Edgar Castillo went 90 minutes for Tijuana, while Joe Corona came on as a sub in the 28th minute and went the rest of the game. Greg Garza did not make the bench, and Herculez Gomez did not play for Santos.
The scoring opened for Santos in the 36th minute when Carlos Quintero took a through ball behind the defense from Oribe Morones, who slipped the ball through the congested heart of the box to find Quintero wide open on goal. Quintero looked to be offsides, but there was no call from the referee, allowing Quintero to shoot on his first touch, putting the ball on the ground past goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo.
Jose Sand would draw even for Tijuana in the 55th minute, converting a penalty kick that was drawn by Joe Corona, who was brought down hard on a corner kick by Morones, who received a yellow card for his efforts. Sand struck the penalty with authority low and to the left, as goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez guessed wrong.
Just nine minutes later, Cristian Suarez would put Santos back in the lead on an assist from Jorge Manjarrez. The ball moved down the right flank to Manjarrez who picked it up and quickly crossed the ball into the box about 16 yards from the touchline. The first wave of players missed the cross but Suarez picked it up at the back post, lunging to meet the ball and knocking it past Saucedo.
The result would be cemented in the 86th minute by Juan Rodriguez, who scored on a free kick from about 25 yards out towards the left of the top of the D. His shot curled over the wall and tucked inside the near post.
The result dropped Tijuana out of a tie for first place, down to sixth on goal differential. Santos Laguna now sits alone at the top of the table, two points ahead of the revitalized America.
Tijuana will next play at Puebla on February 5, while Santos Laguna will host Pumas on February 4.
America 3-1 San Luis
Michael Orozco played 90 minutes for San Luis in their second straight loss, this time to America. He collected a yellow card, but could not stop America's attack.
San Luis went up early in the 4th minute by Wilmer Aguirre, who controlled a long ball into the left side of the box with his chest, before firing a quick low shot to the far post, past goalkeeper Moises Rodriguez.
America would level in the 9th minute on a strike from Cristian Benitez who took a pace across the top of the box from Daniel Montenegro, and then weaved through the San Luis defense on a couple of quick touches, before finding space to slot the ball past goalkeeper Oscar Perez.
Rosinei would put America ahead in the 27th minute, getting on the end of a beautiful through-ball from Benitez, putting him right in on goal, and converting on two touches.
Benitez would finish off his sterling game seven minutes later, converting a penalty kick after being fouled in the box by Jesus Chavez. Chavez was awarded a yellow card for his tackle.
Orozco would get in the books in the 54th minute with a hard foul on Christian Bermudez, resulting in a free kick that was taken by Benitez. Benitez's attempt at the hat trick was denied, as Perez saved the ensuing the shot.
This loss was the second in a row for San Luis, who has dropped from the top of the table to 9th place, and have gone the league's best defense, to the third worst.
San Luis will next play away at Monterrey on February 4.
Pachuca 1-1 Queretaro
Jose Torres went the distance for Pachuca as they stumbled once again in their opportunity to stay on pace with the top of the table.
Queretaro went up first in the 27th minute, after goalkeeper Liborio Sanchez blasted a goal kick well into the offensive half of the field. After going over the initial aerial challenge, the ball took a couple of bounces, going past a clumsily flailing Leobardo Lopez, allowing Pablo Vitti to march in on Rodolfo Cota, and then taking a risky high shot on the run from the top of the box, going over the finger tips of Cota and into the upper left corner of the goal.
Pachuca evened it up on the other side of halftime in the 50th minute, when Edy Brambila crossed the ball in towards goal from the right flank. A mass of players went up, but it was Javier Corozo who met it, nodding the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Sanchez.
Six yellow cards and a red card would follow in the next forty minutes, but no more goals.
Pachuca's draw leaves them four points behind the head of the table.
Pachuca's next game wil lbe at Toluca on February 5.
Jonathan Bornstein made the bench in Tigres 2-1 victory over Estudiantes.
Marco Vidal was on the bench for Club Leon's 4-3 win over Toros Neza in second division play.