Chivas snap champs’ home win streak, split points

Pachuca goalie Óscar Ustari went above and beyond to help the Liga MX champs salvage a point against Guadalajara on Saturday. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Pachuca goalie Óscar Ustari went above and beyond to help the Liga MX champs salvage a point against Guadalajara on Saturday. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M6 Saturday
Henry Martín (left) didn’t score on this shot, but the América striker did convert a penalty kick against Necaxa. He remains tops scorer in Liga MX with 7 goals. (Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Chivas battled Pachuca to a 1-1 draw, ending the Tuzos’ 10-game home wining streak and knocking the defending Liga MX champs from first place to third.

Former Tuzo Víctor Guzmán fired Guadalajara into a first-half lead with a right-footed rocket from outside the box but Pachuca equalized off a swift counterattack finished off by Roberto de la Rosa.

Pachuca sorely felt the absence of midfield energizer bunny Erick Sánchez (red-card suspension) and right fullback Kevin Álvarez (stomach ailment).

The Chivas took advantage of the extra space to generate oodles of opportunities but Tuzos goalie Oscar Ustari was outstanding, turning aside 8 shots. Ustari’s spectacular double save in minute 78 allowed the champs to split the points.

Tigres, Bravos and Aguilas claim wins

Earlier Saturday, Tigres overwhelmed UNAM 4-2, FC Juárez stunned Santos Laguna 3-1 and América eased past Necaxa 2-1.

In their first game since Diego Cocca left to take charge of El Tri, Tigres dominated the visiting Pumas in the first half but squandered chance after chance. Instead of leading at the break by 5-1, a late André-Pierre Gignac sent the teams into the locker room with the hosts leading only 3-1.

When UNAM narrowed the gap in minute 65, Tigres suddenly found themselves scrambling to hold on. Then sub Sebastián Córdova stepped up in minute 90.

Córdova made a steal along the left sideline, nutmegged a Pumas defender and lofted a 40-meter pass to Gignac at the back post and the Frenchman snapped a volley past Sebastián Sosa.

The brace moved Gignac into second place in the Liga MX scoring race with 5 goals, 2 behind América’s Henry Martín.

In Cd. Juárez, the Bravos peppered Santos Laguna Carlos Acevedo all game long, firing 21 shots in all. Their persistence finally paid off and the surprise team of the Clausura 2023 found the net three times in the second half to take all 3 points.

Hernán Cristante has FC Juárez sitting in fifth place in the Liga MX standings and even more importantly they are well outside the relegation zone.

One spot above the Bravos are the Aguilas of América who held off a late challenge by Necaxa thanks to another goal from Henry Martín. A 51st-minute penalty kick was Martín’s 7th of the season while Diego Valdés opened the scoring in minute 21.

Sunday’s Liga MX match-up

Toluca hosts Cruz Azul at high noon with both teams in desperate need of a win.

The hosts – last season’s Liga MX runners-up – have struggled on offense (5 goals in 5 games) and coach Ignacio Ambriz has been tinkering with his line-up with little success.

Cruz Azul is in complete disarray and Raúl Gutiérrez is in line to be the fourth Liga MX coach sacked this season if the Cementeros don’t come away with a win.

Next. 'New' coaches steal Friday spotlight in Liga MX. dark

“La Máquina Azul” is an even worse offensive team (3 goals in 4 games) but “El Potro” has not helped his cause with his questionable line-up decisions. Then again, the front office has taken ineptitude to spectacular levels and much of the blame for roster shortcomings fall at their feet.