Chivas earn statement win; América now lone unbeaten team

The Chivas defense will have to keep a close eye on Sebastián Córdova if they hope to win their 13th Liga MX title. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
The Chivas defense will have to keep a close eye on Sebastián Córdova if they hope to win their 13th Liga MX title. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M9 Sat
Brian Lozano played hero for Atlas against América, scoring two golazos to earn a 2-2 tie. “El Huevo” now has 3 goals in the current Liga MX season. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images) /

Chivas proclaim Liga MX intentions with big road win

And then there was one.

Tigres and América were the lone undefeated teams heading into the weekend. Heading into Matchday 10, América will be the only Liga MX team without a blemish on its record.

Guadalajara marched into “El Volcán” and emerged with a well-earned 2-1 victory, making clear that the Chivas are a legitimate contender. Tigres had entered the match as the stingiest defense in Liga MX, conceding only 4 goals in their first eight games.

“El Rebaño Sagrado” got on the board just 90 seconds into the match, even before the rowdy Tigres crowd had finished singing its traditional team anthem. The Chivas took advantage of poor marking off a corner kick and Guadalajara defender Gilberto Sepúlveda knocked home a loose ball from point-blank range.

Ronaldo Cisneros doubled the lead in minute 34 and, by then, the Chivas had set the tone with smothering defense. The visitors pressed Tigres wingers against the sideline, often applying double-teams to trap and dispossess.

The defense was so effective that “los felinos” managed just a single shot on goal from open play (their second “shot on goal” was an 87th-minute penalty kick converted by Nico Ibáñez).

Guadalajara (5-3-1) now sits third on the Liga MX table, even with Tigres (also 5-3-1) but trailing in goal differential.

Aguilas denied chance to climb into second

Unbeaten América (4-5-0) had to settle for its fifth draw of the season despite dominating in the first half against struggling Atlas.

The Zorros had been blanked in three consecutive outings heading into Saturday night’s match and after the visiting Aguilas raced out to a 2-0 lead, the result seemed a foregone conclusion.

Jonathan Rodríguez put “los AzulCremas” in front with a nifty goal in minute 31 and Henry Martin blasted home his 10th goal of the season – tops in Liga MX – in minute 40 to put the Aguilas up 2-0.

Martín has now scored in double figures for two consecutive seasons – “La Bomba” found the net 10 times last season – becoming the first Mexican since “Chicharito” Hernández to achieve that feat.

“Chicharito” tallied 11 goals in the Apertura 2009 and added 10 the following season.

But just before the halftime whistle, Brian Lozano took matters into his own hand … or rather his right foot.

Lozano scored a brilliant free kick to narrow the deficit and 23 minutes after the restart, “El Huevo” fired home a Goal of the Year candidate to knot things up.

The game dissolved into a fast-paced, back-and-forth affair that left fans and viewers breathless, but neither team could break the deadlock.

The result prevented América (17 points) from climbing into second place and Ferando Ortiz’s men will have to settle for a spot in fourth (1 point behind Tigres and Guadalajara), while Atlas is farther down the Liga MX table in 14th (1-5-3, 8 points).

What a difference a week makes!

Cruz Azul owned zero wins through the first 42 days of the Clausura 2023 (0-1-4). After a coaching change, the Cementeros claimed three wins in nine days, the third coming Saturday night in Estadio Azteca.

Interim manager Joaquín Moreno guided “The Blue Machine” to the first two victories while management conducted a coaching search. Moreno remained on the sideline for Saturday’s 1-0 win over FC Juárez as new coach Ricardo Ferretti preferred to watch his first game in charge from a sky box, relaying instructions to Moreno from there.

An early Uriel Antuna goal off a goal-mouth scramble was enough to earn the win and lift the Cementeros into 10th place after the club spent three weeks in 17th.

Still, Cruz Azul fans voiced their annoyance at Tuca’s decision to start midfielder Rafa Baca and defender Julio César Domínguez, two favorite punching bags among the Cementeros faithful.

The two veterans have seen their share of ups-and-downs during their respective lengthy careers with “La Máquina Azul” (Baca, since 2014; “Cata,” since 2006) and their “downs” – of which there have been many of late – have been met with jeers.

USWNT hoists She Believes Cup for 6th time. dark. Next

The frustration at the reliance on aging veteran and what it portends for the remainder of the season was evident as “Out with Tuca” (#FueraTuca) was trending on social media throughout the match.