Liga MX: Two draws, Tigres roar, Rayos light up

Nico López scored twice to lead the Tigres to a 3-0 home win over Querétaro. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Nico López scored twice to lead the Tigres to a 3-0 home win over Querétaro. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
Liga MX Week 5
Toluca skipper Rubens Sambueza celebrates after converting a penalty kick against Mazatlán FC. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Busy week continues for Liga MX teams

Liga MX kicked off a midweek matchday with a Tuesday night quadruple-header that featured 12 goals, several of which can be described as golazos. The schedule continues with four more games on Wednesday night.

Toluca and Mazatlán FC raised the curtain on Week 5 with an entertaining first 45 minutes that saw the two clubs head to the locker room at the break all tied up at 2. There was no more scoring after that and the game ended in a draw that fails to benefit either team.

Despite learning that top scorer André-Pierre Gignac is out at least a month, the Tigres found the net three times to dispense with Liga MX minnows Querétaro.

The simultaneous nightcaps featured four teams that started the night in 14th place or lower, but Necaxa’s 3-0 win over UNAM has lifted the Rayos into 11th place, while Tijuana and Puebla played to a 1-1 draw.

Toluca 2, Mazatlán FC 2

The host Diablos Rojos drew first blood off a corner kick in minute 9 when Ian González redirected a header by teammate Miguel Barbieri. The Cañoneros responded with a Camilo Sanvezzo free kick that sailed into the net when the Toluca wall parted.

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Rubens Sambueza – joint top scorer in Liga MX with 3 goals – put Toluca back in front with a penalty kick in minute 38 only to see Mazatlán FC respond with a fluke goal by Emilio Sánchez 6 minutes later. Ref Saúl Silva drew the ire of the Diablos when he blew the whistle to end the half as Toluca hurried to take a free kick which was knocked into the net. Sambueza and “Gallito” Vázquez argued with Silva but to no avail.

The 32-year-old official could face some time on the sideline if the Liga MX Referees Commission takes a dim view of his performance. Sanvezzo’s free kick goal in minute 32 came after a very soft foul and Sambueza’s goal from the penalty spot came after a clear flop by Kevin Castañeda that deserved a yellow card for simulation.

Tigres 3, Querétaro 0

The host Tigres dominated from start-to-finish, claiming the victory with three brilliant goals. Uruguayan Nico “Diente” López flashed some skills while contributing a brace.

His first came after a nifty assist from countryman Leo Fernández and his second was a bit of solo genius, dribbling through the middle of the Gallos Blancos defense before firing home with his trusty left boot. López now has 3 goals to lead the Tigres.

Newcomer Florian Thauvin scored his debut goal in minute 74 with an upper-90 blast. The Frenchman took a pass from Javier Aquino on the left side and fired top corner far side. A real beauty.

Necaxa 3, UNAM 0

The Rayos continued their climb out of the basement, winning their second straight. The outcome dumped the punch-less Pumas into last place.

The “Electricistas” took the lead in minute 35 thanks to a golazo by Alfonso Escoboza and closed the book with an even better golazo by Rodolfo Aguirre in added time.

In between, in minute 68, Eduardo Basulto swallowed his whistle when Higor Meritao ran over Necaxa captain Rubén González in the box. Basulto waved off the play despite being within 10 meters of the action, but VAR finally called down and convinced the ref to take a look. Multiple camera angles left no doubt that it was a clear penalty and Alex Zendejas calmly rifled the ball into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season, tops in Liga MX.

UNAM seems to be in for a long season as “los Auriazules” fell to 0-2-2 with a –7 goal differential – worst in Liga MX.

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Xolos 1, Puebla 1

In Tijuana, Lucas Rodríguez (a rocket of a volley in minute 4) and Guillermo Martínez (a power header in minute 71) got on the scoresheet in a rather dull match that left the two teams sitting just above the Pumas near the bottom of the Liga MX table.