Gustavo Matosas got off to a winning start as manager of América with an exciting, if rather too open, 3-2 victory over his former club, León in the Estadio Azteca. The new look attacking triumvirate of Darío Benedetto and Darwin Quintero assisting Oribe Peralta yielded immediate results but there is still work ahead for Matosas. Rivals, Chivas did not have as much luck as they slumped to a familiar narrow defeat against Chiapas in what is a crucial season for Los Rojiblancos in their efforts to avoid relegation. This was made worse by victory for relegation rivals Puebla, who defeated Tijuana thanks to a Matías Alustiza brace. Cruz Azul began the Clausura with a 1-0 win over Pachuca and Atlas won in Nuevo León over Apertura finalists, Tigres.
Club América 3 – 2 León
While taking over a side who have just been crowned champions might sound like an easy task, Gustavo Matosas will know he is under considerable pressure given his predecessor, Antonio Mohamed captured the Apertura but was still let go as a result of his effective rather than exciting style. If Saturday’s opener was anything to go by, life under Matosas will certainly bring the required level of excitement.
Oribe Peralta took just 3 minutes to give Las Águilas the lead when he pounced on a defensive error and when he headed in a second after some excellent work from Benedetto down the right just three minutes later it appeared as though it would be a dream debut.
However, an awful own goal from Moisés Valasco allowed León a route back in and five minutes before the break, Mauro Boselli headed an equaliser.
América may have looked vulnerable but with the new attacking options on the pitch there was more of a threat and certainly Peralta appeared to benefit from having additional pace and guile around him. The winner came after 66 minutes when Colombian Quintero dashed behind the static León backline and volleyed past the helpless William Yarbrough.
Puebla 2 – 1 Tijuana
Puebla will be hoping not to be dragged deeper into the relegation mire during the Clausura and the returning Matías Alustiza ensured that they made the perfect start yesterday. The Argentine striker spent last year with Pachuca but his first half penalty and superb volley after the break gave La Franja an important three points. Dayro Moreno immediately pulled one back to set up a nervy ending but Puebla held on.
Tigres 0 – 1 Atlas
Atlas will be hoping to build on their impressive performance in the Apertura and certainly an away victory over the finalists represents a decent start. Fine margins decided the outcome and it was only Edy Brambila’s smart, diving header ten minutes from time that gave los Rojinegros victory.
Chiapas 2 – 1 Chivas
The sight of those in Red and White wasting opportunities only to see defensive lapses cost them goals is a theme all to familiar to the suffering fans of Chivas. Saturday’s opener against Chiapas was no different as a good first half in which Chepo de la Torre’s side were the better was ultimately punished in the most unfortunate of circumstances after the break. Diego de la Torre’s low cross struck the boot of Carlos Salcido and looped up and over the head of José Rodríguez.
However, Chivas unperturbed pushed on and found an equaliser in the 74th minute when Omar Bravo forced in Giovani Hernández’s firmly struck cross.
An opening day point may have perhaps been a solid start for Chivas but with minutes remaining Aviles Hurtado lost his marker and headed the winner for Los Jaguares.
With Veracruz winning on Friday and Puebla taking three points earlier it was a less than ideal opener for Chepo and his side. The reality of relegation is very real in this Clausura and Chivas must start picking up points soon.
Pachuca 0 – 1 Cruz Azul
After the disappointment of last season, La Máquina will want to put something of a challenge together in the Clausura and Joao Rojas’ stooped header gave them at least a winning start. The Ecuadorian got on the end of new signing Roque Santa Cruz’s cut back after only nine minutes and it proved enough to see off Pachuca.