CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Monday, August 6, 2012
Herculez Gomez scored again for Santos, while Edgar Castillo played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card for Tijuana in Week Three of Liga MX.
Santos Laguna 2-2 Puebla
Herculez Gomez started and played 71 minutes for Santos, and appeared to have scored an early clinching goal. However, a second half collapse stole two points from the favorites.
DaMarcus Beasley started and went the distance for Puebla, whose comeback will likely be tallied up as one of their better upsets of the season, despite having four months left in the Apertura.
Carlos Quintero started the game off right for Santos, capitalizing on a fast break opportunity in the sixth minute when midfielder Juan Pablo Rodriguez was fouled, and jumped back up to play a long chip 40 yards over the top of the defense to the running Quintero, who took one deft touch to get past goalkeeper Alexandro Olivares, before slotting it easily home.
Gomez got on the board and continued Puebla's disastrous start in the 15th minute, after Daniel Luduena played a corner kick out past the top left corner of the box to Osmar Mares, who swung it back into the box towards the middle of the goal box. Gomez snuck behind the defense and dived towards the ball, making perfect contact with his diving header to put the ball past Olivares.
Santos appeared to have the game in hand until the 65th minute when Matias Abelairas sprung Matias Alustiza with a through ball into the right side of the box. Alustiza struck a well placed shot to get past Oswaldo Sanchez.
Gomez was subbed out shortly after Puebla's celebrations ended, and the surprising comeback was complete in the 80th minute when Alustiza got on the board again, taking a cross from the right side of the field, about 25 yards from the touchline. The ball dropped in to Alustiza right inside the goal box, and he hit it home with confidence.
The tie saw Santos drop two points to league leaders Toluca, but there is little concern in Torreon with 14 games left to play. Santos will next visit Leon on Friday, August 10.
Puebla saw their stock rise from the bottom of the standings with their first point of the season. Beasley and company will next host Cruz Azul on Sunday, August 12.
Tijuana 1-0 Pumas
Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes for el Xolos, while Joe Corona went until the 69th minute.
Greg Garza and Alejandro Guido did not dress for Tijuana.
It was an action packed first half that culminated with the game's lone goal just before halftime. Corona came close on two opportunities, with shots that were parried wide by Alejandro Palacios.
In the fifth minute, Castillo was shown a yellow card after being fouled on the left wing. Castillo rebounded form the ground and got into the face of his attacker, Martin Bravo, who also received a yellow card.
In the 44th minute, Pumas midfielder Jehu Chiapas was whistled for a dangerous play, and a restart at half field for Tijuana saw a long ball played into the box between the penalty spot and the top of the goal box. Javier Gandolfi had faked a run to the top of the box, and slipped behind his defenders without them seeing. The ball dropped to him all alone, but Palacios was quick enough off his line to stop Gandolfi from shooting cleanly. Instead, the defender played a square ball to his back line partner Pablo Aguilar, who shot into the open goal.
Rebounding from last week's loss to Leon, Tijuana's victory kept them within three points of the top of the standings, on pace with the other contenders. Tijuana will next visit Pachuca on Saturday, August 11.
Morelia 3-3 San Luis
Michael Orozco started and went the distance for San Luis in yet another unsuccessful bid to win their first league game since March, and second since January.
The home crowd got to cheer first, and they did so early in the ninth minute when Joel Huiqui found himself in a great position at he top of the goal box, to get on the end of a headed pass from Jefferson Montero. Huiqui lunged for the ball and lofted a shot towards the far post, over the leaping Oscar Perez.
The game turned in the 27th minute when Carlos Morales fouled Sebastian Fernandez in the box. Morales received a yellow card, and Santiago Trellez stepped up to take the spot kick. Trellez shot to the middle left side of the goal, and was saved by Frederico Vilar.
Despite the missed penalty, the momentum had swung in San Luis's direction. Just before the halftime whistle, a deflected ball happened to get Vilar on the wrong foot, and went straight to the head of Fernandez who easily directed the ball into the goal to tie the game.
Seven minutes into the second half, Moises Velasco drew another San Luis penalty kick, and Fernandez stepped up in place of Trellez to take the shot. Fernandez placed his shot well to the left lower 90, out of Vilar's reach.
San Luis seemed to put the game out of reach for Morelia in the 66th minute when Trellez redeemed himself for his missed penalty kick. On a two versus two fast break, Trellez outran his defender and received a well placed through ball from Fernandez that sprung him into a breakaway. Trellez chipped his shot over Vilar and into the net to make it a two goal lead.
Everything was going well for San Luis until the 85th minute when Antonio Pedroza jumped on a deflected shot from Francisco Torres in the middle of the box and hammered a half volley past Perez.
Now looking shaky, San Luis's defense tried to hold on for another few minutes, but their almost pre-ordained collapse was completed in the 88th minute, following a Morelia corner kick. After an agonizing amount of the ball bouncing around the box, it fell to Huiqui by the touch line about seven yards off the left post. He dribbled in at a tight angle and managed to sneak his shot past Perez to the far post to tie the game.
San Luis will next host Monterrey on Saturday, August 11.
Dorados 2-2 Lobos BUAP
Marco Vidal got the start for Lobos and went all the way in a match that saw his team steal a victory from undefeated Dorados on a goal in the final minute of play.
Led by the ever mercurial Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Dorados was looking to make it three victories in a row to start the Apertura 2012 season of the newly minted Liga de Ascenso MX.
From the very start it seemed Dorados would get an easy fourth, with Blanco getting his team going with a goal just 2 minutes after the opening whistle.
This was a lead Dorados would hold until the 40th minute, when Brazilian veteran Aparecido Francisco de Lima scored for Lobos to even up things up 1-1.
Still savoring a fourth victory, Dorados pressed their attack and were finally rewarded with a goal by Christian Lopez in the 79th minute, which sparked a roar from the Dorados fans at Estadio Banorte, who began celebrating another win for their team.
However, the fourth official signaled 5 minutes of extra time, which gave Lobos the time silence the fans when Omar Alejandro Tejeda scored in the 94th minute for the 2-2 final.
Dorados remained atop the table with 7 points, while Lobos reached 4 points with the draw.
Jose Torres did not play due to red card suspension in Pachuca's 1-0 victory over Queretaro.
Jonathan Bornstein dressed for Tigres in their 0-0 tie with Atlas.
Ventura Alvarado did not dress for America in their 2-2 tie with Atlante.