Liga MX kicked off Matchday 4 on Thursday night with the Orlegi Classic and it was a doozy with Atlas getting a late equalizer to spoil Santos Laguna’s visit to Estadio Jalisco.
The two clubs – both managed by Orlegi Sports – sit in the top half of the Liga MX table after the 2-2 draw. Santos is in second place with 7 points from a 2-1-1 record, while the Zorros are in sixth (5 points) – with a game in hand – with a 1-2-0 record.
Atlas talisman Julián Quiñones helped the Zorros secure a point with a 78th-minute goal off a nifty assist from Jaziel Martínez, a 22-year-old midfielder on loan from Monterrey. Jonathan Herrera got the Zorros’ first goal – tying the score at 1-1 – in minute 68.
Juan Brunetta provided a goal and an assist to lead the Guerreros. The Argentine playmaker fed countryman Javier Correa for the opener in minute 27 then found the net in minute 71, just 3 minutes after Herrera had knotted the score.
Liga MX goalies getting bombarded
The watchword for the first three weekends of Liga MX action has been fireworks, as in lots of goals.
Through an as-yet incomplete three matchdays (two Matchday 1 contests were postponed), league scoring is at a 12-year high.
There were 81 goals scored through the first 25 games of the Clausura 2023 – an average of 3.25 per game. However, the excess scoring has more often come as a result of routs instead of high-scoring barn-burners.
Thus far, we’ve seen three 4-1 results (Pachuca bullying FC Juárez, Tigres smashing Pachuca, and Pumas cavorting past León) and a 5-1 walkover (Pachuca, again involved, humbling Puebla).
Three games have also ended 3-0 (Santos over Pumas, Tigres over Santos and FC Juárez over Tijuana). These results make the “if Team A defeated Team B by 3 goals and Team B defeated Team C by 3 goals” a bit of a math challenge (with this formula, Tigres would smack the Pumas 6-0 and
However, we have also been treated to two 3-2 games and last week’s thrilling 3-3 draw in which host Querétaro found the equalizer in minute 90+9 (yes, there were 9 minutes of stoppage time added thanks to Liga MX’s wholly inept application of video replay, but that’s a topic for another story).
Anyway … you have to go back to the Apertura 2011 to find more goal-scoring in the first three matchdays. Liga MX teams combined for 82 goals back then, but keep in mind all 27 games were played, so the goals-per-game average was just 3.03.
Thanks to the sports daily “Record,” we learn that the all-time mark for most goals through three weekends is 93, a tally that was reached during the early days of the Verano 1999 campaign. And the season immediately preceding it – the Invierno 1998 – featured the second-most goals through three weeks – 83.
So we’ll have to revisit this story when the two postponed games are finally in the books (Toluca at Atlas on Feb. 1 and León at Mazatlán FC on March 24) to see if Liga MX has a new record to tout.
In the meantime, let’s see if offenses continue to have the upper hand during the Clausura 2023 or if defenses finally get their collective act together.