Tuzos hand Aguilas their first loss; Monterrey cruises past FC Juárez

Roberto de la Rosa (left) and Gustavo Cabral celebrate after the former scored Saturday night against América to put the defending Liga MX champs ahead 3-0. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
Roberto de la Rosa (left) and Gustavo Cabral celebrate after the former scored Saturday night against América to put the defending Liga MX champs ahead 3-0. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /
Liga MX Pachuca America
Rogelio Funes Mori scored the clincher for Monterrey in his club’s 3-0 win over visiting FC Juárez. The win increased the Rayados’ lead atop the Liga MX table. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The last unbeaten Liga MX team fell Saturday night and they fell hard, while table-topping Monterrey won to extend its advantage atop the standings.

América took the field at Estadio Azteca with a sparkling 4-5-0 record and a league-leading 21 goals.

Ninety minutes later, a dejected Aguilas squad trudged off the pitch to scattered boos, 3-0 losers to defending Liga MX champs.

Pachuca came into the game on a two-game skid, tumbling from second to sixth while giving up nearly as many goals (14) as they conceded all of last season (15, second-fewest among Liga MX defenses).

Tuzos survive early storm, answer with three crackin’ goals

América attacked quickly, creating three scoring chances in the first 3 minutes of the match. Then, bing-bang-boom and the ball was in the back of the net, “Chofis” López the beneficiary of a brilliant Tuzos move in which he participated in the build-up.

Six minutes later, Avilés Hurtado laid off a brilliant no-look pass that “El Primo” Hernández powered between Oscar Jiménez’s legs from a sharp angle and it was 2-0 Pachuca.

The Aguilas then saw two goals annulled (the first for a handball off a corner kick), the second on a controversial offside call.

While the hosts were still feeling aggrieved, Roberto de la Rosa raced onto a rebound that Jiménez had spilled and banged it into the net. 3-0 Tuzos. And a half-hour had not gone by yet. And the Aguilas faithful was now booing Jiménez every time he touched the ball.

América put up a good fight for a while, but the final 20 minutes of the match were just protocol.

The Liga MX champs have moved into third place momentarily, while América will remain sixth.

Meanwhile, atop the Liga MX standings …

Monterrey has not experienced defeat since the season opener, and the host Rayados coasted to a 3-0 win over FC Juárez, moving to 9-1-1.

Defenders Víctor Guzmán and Stefan Medina had Monterrey up 2-0 just past the hour mark and striker Rogelio Funes Mori put the nail in the coffin in minute 82. Funes Mori now has 8 goals, second-best in Liga MX (América’s Henry Martín has 10).

The Rayados’ 24 points has them 3 clear of crosstown rivals Tigres, a 1-0 winner at Necaxa on Friday night. FC Juárez sits in ninth place with 11 points.

Elsewhere around Liga MX …

  • León scored twice in second-half stoppage time to come away with a 2-0 win against visiting Atlético de San Luis. With the win, the Esmeraldas strengthened their hold on seventh place and they have a game in hand (against last-place Mazatlán FC on March 24).
  • Monterrey’s Víctor Guzmán was not the only Víctor Guzmán to score Saturday night. In Guadalajara, “El Pocho” Guzmán headed home a Roberto Alvarado cross to put the Chivas ahead of Santos Laguna in minute 17. “El Rebaño Sagrado” went on to defeat the Guerreros 2-0, climbing into third pending Toluca’s result Sunday at Querétaro.
  • Cruz Azul midfielder Erik Lira appears to be a summer target for Italy’s Udinese. The 22-year-old started his Liga MX career with UNAM and is in his third season with the Cementeros where he has latched onto the starting defensive midfield spot.

Next. Liga MX at midpoint: Six-team race for Top 4 seeds. dark