Rayados back in first place; Puebla rallies late for draw

Liga MX Mty-Necaxa, TJ-Puebla

Israel Reyes gestures to the crowd after scoring the equalizer for Puebla against the Xolos in a Liga MX match played in Tijuana on Saturday night. (Photo by Eduardo Teran/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Monterrey climbed back atop the Liga MX table while Puebla found a last-gasp equalizer as Matchday 8 heads into the weekend.

After sparking Monterrey to victory with a hat-trick last week, Arturo González knocked home the winner in minute 77 to allow the Rayados to slip past a game Necaxa side. The Rayos had taken a first-half lead behind a Brayan Garnica goal but could not hold off the highest-scoring Liga MX team.

Rodrigo Aguirre – Necaxa’s leading scorer last season – pulled Monterrey even in minute 56, setting the stage for “Ponchito” to play the hero again.

The Rayados now have 19 points thanks to a 6-1-1 record, leap-frogging Toluca (17 points)who plays struggling Cruz Azul on Sunday. Monterrey’s 19 goals leads Liga MX (Toluca is second-best with 14 goals).

Camoteros steal a point from Xolos

Puebla demonstrated why they are considered a contender for a Top 4 seed and a first-round bye in the Liga MX playoffs, erasing a late 3-1 deficit on the road.

Tijuana again showed it is a much-improved team but just could not put away an unrelenting Camoteros team.

The hosts took a 3-1 lead in minute 72 when skipper Lisandro López banged home the rebound of his own blocked penalty shot and the Xolos seemed headed for a huge win. But Puebla refused to concede.

In just his second Liga MX game, U.S. international Jozy Altidore recorded his first Liga MX goal, narrowing the deficit in minute 85. Altidore nearly tied it a minute later from point-blank range, but Jonathan Orozco swatted away his attempt.

Though the 8 minutes of added time had elapsed, ref Luis Enrique Santander allowed Puebla to take a corner kick and Israel Reyes raced to the back post to loop a header over Orozco and into the net to earn “La Franja” a draw.

Liga MX postpones game in Cd. Juárez

Due to increasing violence in the border city, Liga MX officials canceled Saturday’s FC Juárez-Pachuca match. The game will be rescheduled.

At least 11 people have been killed and another 12 wounded in violence being blamed on a battle between warring drug cartels. The bloodshed reportedly began in the local prison on Thursday and one of the crime gangs then began shooting up shops and businesses in what appears to be random attacks designed to spur confusion and fear.

As the violence continued Friday, Liga MX decided discretion was the better part of valor and announced postponement of the match.