With repercussions at either end of the table, Saturday’s results proved once again just how strong Cruz Azul are, while Veracruz’s failure to beat Tijuana at home showed how much they are in the thick of a relegation battle. Meanwhile, wins for title hopefuls, América and León ensure that La Maquina will not become complacent.
Cruz Azul hosting Toluca was the meeting of the top two and another test of La Maquina’s early season dominance. Despite some nervy moments and a bit of luck, most notably when Pablo Velázquez cannoned a shot off the inside of the post, Cruz Azul came through to record their eighth straight victory. With time running out a lofted free kick found substitute, Christian ‘Chaco’ Giménez and he headed the ball past Alfredo Talavera to send the Estadio Azul into raptures.
With Friday’s victories for Atlante and Atlas the pressure was on Veracruz as they hosted a Tijuana side who have won on the road since January 2013. That pressure increased ten-fold when Cristian Pellerano’s deflected effort gave Los Xolos a first half lead, particularly in light of Los Tiburones Rojos toothless attack. Defeat would have seen Veracruz sink to the bottom of the descenso but Liber Quiñones’ late volley ensured a point was enough to stay above Atlante, at least for now.
Another side under pressure were Antonio Mohamed’s América side, who travelled to Monterrey in the knowledge that the last time Las Águilas had lost four consecutive Liga MX matches was back in April 2008. It was by no means vintage América but it will be a huge relief to pick up another 3 points and remain in a good position in the league table. Defender, Erik Pimentel gave Las Águilas the lead with a close range header and the countless chances were squandered to extend the lead either wastefully or halted by the excellent Jonathan Orozco. And so El Turco must have been cursing his luck when Colombian, Wilson Morelo poked in an equaliser with less than 10 minutes remaining. The clock ticked towards the final whistle when wing back, Paul Aguilar burst down the right and his pull back found Ruben Sambueza, who made no mistake in converting the winner. Back to winning ways and up to third but a massive 10 points behind Cruz Azul.
Finally, a dazzling first half performance by Apertura Champions, León blew Chiapas away as they continue to gather pace and recapture their title winning form. With so many willing runners from deep, a confident León are so difficult to defend against and it took just 13 minutes for Elias Hernandez to profit from this style as his run in behind Los Jaguares’ defence went unchecked and he was able to open the scoring. Miguel Sabah then added a second from the influential Carlos Peña’s cut back before Peña released Mauro Boselli to round Alfredo Frausto and roll in the third. With the game won, León simply ensured that there would be no fight back from Chiapas.
Cruz Azul 1 – 0 Toluca
Veracruz 1 – 1 Tijuana
Monterrey 1 – 2 Club América
Chiapas 0 – 3 León