Pachuca’s Nico Ibáñez scored in stoppage time to avoid what would have been a huge upset as the Tuzos eked out a 1-1 draw against visiting Mazatlán FC.
The result leaves Pachuca in a tie atop the Liga MX table with Puebla, both clubs with 7 points from three matches. The Cañoneros remain winless and are in 16th place with a 0-1-2 record.
Nicolás Benedetti put Mazatlán ahead just 1 minute into the second half with a golazo that came off a long goal kick. The equalizer arrived after the Cañoneros reacted slowly to a late free kick.
Erick Sánchez found Avilés Hurtado with space on the right flank and the Colombian winger rifled a cross to the back post where Ibáñez had shaken free of his marker. Ibáñez easily headed home for his second goal of the Apertura 2022.
Last season’s top seed escapes embarrassing loss
Pachuca was the only Liga MX team to not lose a home game last season, finishing the Clausura 2022 with 6-2-0 record (9-2-0 if you include the Liga MX playoffs). The last time the Tuzos lost at Estadio Hidalgo was back on Sept. 13, 2021, a 2-1 loss to Toluca.
Added to that, Mazatlán was among the worst Liga MX teams on the road last season, posting a miserable 2-1-6 record away from home.
Pachuca will be tested again at home next week when the Pumas come to the Hidalgo state capital for their Matchday 4 contest. Mazatlán returns home for a date with Atlético de San Luis.
Around the Liga MX
The Tuzos made headlines before the game as well, announcing the arrival of former Chivas wunderkind Eduardo “Chofis” López as part of a deal that sent striker Santiago Ormeño from León to Guadalajara.
“Chofis” spent the past 18 months on loan to the San Jose Earthquakes, banished to the MLS by Chivas management after a series of off-field controversies. At the time, owner Amaury Vergara and the front office announced “Chofis” would never play for the club again and they were true to their word.
The trade for Ormeño was negotiated two weeks ago as Guadalajara was desperate for a replacement for starting forward JJ Macías who tore up his knee the week before the Liga MX season started.
Grupo Pachuca – the conglomerate that owns and operates both León and Pachuca – agreed to send Ormeño to the Chivas in exchange for “Chofis” but the enigmatic midfielder insisted he only wanted to play for Guadalajara, the team for which he debuted in 2013 as a 19-year-old.
When it became clear that he would not get his wish, the now 27-year-old playmaker reluctantly accepted the trade which was registered with Liga MX headquarters on Monday.