RECAP: WEEKEND MEXICAN ACTION
It was a difficult weekend for Americans as Pachuca, Puebla, and Indios all lost but not all was lost as Herculez Gomez was able once again find the back of the net and Edgar Castillo and Tigres came away with a win.
Monterrey 3 – 0 Pachuca
Pachuca's tournament took another hit as they lost 3-0 for the second week in a row; this week while visiting Monterrey at the Estadio Tecnologico this Saturday. Pachuca, who opened the season as the league's most offensive and dangerous team, have now lost two games in a row and have one point in the last four games.
Pachuca looked to be at a slight advantage early in the game as Monterrey was without starting striker Aldo de Negris, but a foul committed by the Tuzos outside the area in the 16th would change things. Neri Cardoza took the free kick and Hector Morales found himself unmarked in the area and was able to head it in to give the home side the lead.
After the goal, Monterrey seemed to gain confidence and dominated the midfield. However, after half time, it appeared that Tuzo head coach Guillermo Rivarola gave a convincing half time speech as Pachuca came out offensive and created several dangerous opportunities.
However, Pachuca was never able to convert and it was Monterrey who scored next in the 85th when Walter Ayovi dribbled into the area from the right side, cut back towards the center and put it under goalkeeper Miguel Calero to give Monterrey a two goal lead.
Pachuca was unable to respond and Monterrery added with a third goal in the 94th minute when substitute Val Baiano received a pass in the area and found himself one on one with Miguel Calero. He put it under the keeper on the right side to give Monterrey the three goal victory.
Francisco Torres started and played the full 90 minutes while picking up a yellow card for a hard foul on Walter Ayovi in the 74th. Torres seems to have gained Rivarola's confidence as he has now started four consecutive games. Pachuca will have to do some serious soul searching as their playoff hopes are disappearing before their eyes. They will host Santos next Saturday.
Pumas 4 – 1 Puebla
Pumas continued their strong play of late while Puebla continued their frustrating inconsistency this Sunday as Pumas dismantled Puebla.
American Herculez Gomez got the start and continued his strong play when he scored his fifth goal of the season and fourth goal in four games in the third minute to surprise the home squad and give Puebla the lead.
Gomez was able to head in a perfect center from Rodgrigo Salinas on the right side. The header was reached by goalkeeper Sergio Bernal, but Bernal was unable to get enough of a hand on it to prevent the goal.
Despite being down, Pumas played confidently and in control, maintaining possession and creating chances. Pumas would tie things up in the 27th when Leandro Agusto shot from outside the area. The shot was deflected by Puebla defender Luis Miguel Noriega and beat Alexandro Alvarez as the ball went into the back of the net.
Pumas would take the lead shortly after the first half when in the 50th minute, Martin Bravo's center was headed by Pablo Barrera into an open net. Pumas continued to pressure and look to score, despite the occasional opportunity by Puebla.
In the 61th minute Dante Lopez, of Pumas, was able to dribble into the area and had a look at goal but saw Martin Bravo open. Lopez passed to Brazo who easily converted to give the home squad a two goal league.
Five minutes later, Pumas would put the ball out of reach when in the 66th, Martin Bravo shot again, with only the goalkeeper to beat. The shot was blocked but Jehu Chiapas was present and collected the rebound and easily converted to give Pumas a three goal league.
Puebla will look to recover when they host league leaders Monterrey next Sunday.
Indios 0-1 Tigres
The good news was that American Edgar Castillo and Tigres were able to win. The bad news as that Marco Vidal and Indios are still unable to win.
Tigres left with the win in Ciudad Juarez this Sunday afternoon. Despite being up by two men for significant periods of time, Indios were unable to convert and have extended again their winless streak to 26 games.
It was an ugly game from the beginning as the Ciudad Juarez squad are now playing as if they knew their season was over. The strong commitment and hard play seen in the beginning of the season is not as present now. Indios was unable to generate any significant offense in the afternoon.
Indios was given a gift in the 33rd minute when Alan Pulido, of Tigres, picked up his second yellow card and was sent off. However, the home squad was unable to convert and it was Tigres who played better when in the 41st, Brazilian Itamar Batista was able to get a foot on a corner kick and put it past Indios keeper Christian Martinez to give the visiting side the lead.
In the second half it was more of the same as Tigres began to sit back; content as Indios could generate little offense. Indios was again given a gift when in the 63rd, Antonio Molina was shown red to put Indios up by two men. Nevertheless, Indios was able to convert on this opportunity and the day ended with a loss for the home team.
Marco Vidal and Edgar Castillo both started and played the full 90 minutes. Castillo picked up a yellow card.
Indios visit fellow league bottom dwellers, Estudiantes, on Friday while Tigres will host Atlas on Saturday.
Sammy Ochoa did not play in Estudiantes' 2-0 loss to Morelia on Saturday.