Cellar-dwellers claim first victories; three coaches on hot seat

Jonathan Torres and Querétaro have had little to celebrate this season, but the Gallos Blancos picked up their first win of the Liga MX season on Sunday. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Jonathan Torres and Querétaro have had little to celebrate this season, but the Gallos Blancos picked up their first win of the Liga MX season on Sunday. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX cellar dwellers, coaches
UNAM coach Rafael Puente could well be keeping a lookout for the grim reaper as he is among three Liga MX coaches facing a firing squad. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /

Matchday 10 provided some significant surprises as the two worst Liga MX teams collected their first wins of the season, the highest-scoring team was handed its first loss of the Clausura 2023 in shut-out fashion and now three coaches appear to be on very hot seats.

Last-place Mazatlán stunned a sad-sack Cruz Azul team 3-1 but remained at the bottom of the Liga MX table with 4 points (1-1-7) while the equally miserable Gallos Blancos of Querétaro shocked visiting Toluca to reach 8 points (1-5-3).

Cruz Azul came away from the Kraken in complete disarray, three-game win streak gone and newfound confidence in a shambles. The story line that the Cementeros might be considered late-blooming Liga MX title contenders has seemingly been proven to be fictional. “La Máquina Azul” sits in 12th place with a measly 10 points (3-1-5).

Toluca arrived at Estadio Corregidora as the hottest team in the league, outscoring its previous four opponents 12-2 and climbing into second place. The face-plant against the Gallos saw the Diablos Rojos tumble into fifth place (18 points, 5-3-2).

Aguilas’ wings clipped by resurgent Tuzos

América welcomed reigning Liga MX kings Pachuca to Estadio Azteca figuring to take advantage of a struggling Tuzos side that had lost two straight.

Instead, the champs humbled the Aguilas, prompting their fans to boo underperforming players throughout the second half to the 3-0 loss.

“Los AzulCremas” – the best offense in Liga MX through 9 games – and MVP candidate Henry Martín were silenced, raising questions about goalie Oscar Jiménez just as the Mexico City giants hit the meat of their schedule.

With second-place Tigres (21 points) and third-place Guadalajara (21) up next, the sixth-place Aguilas (17) are up against it, and a Top 4 playoff seed is suddenly looking like a difficult fight.

Liga MX coaching carousel might start spinning again

After a gut-punch from Puebla and another loss at home, Pumas coach Rafa Puente declared: “I will not resign!” That might not be up to him, however, as UNAM fell to 2-1-2 at home while conceding 10 goals in five matches at the CU.

Rookie forward Angel Robles scored twice as Puebla pulled away late from UNAM who was forced to play a man down for 70 minutes after a Héctor Ramírez red card, the fifth ejection Pumas have suffered this season (second most among Liga MX clubs).

The lack of discipline and a leaky defense (21 goals allowed) could be Puente’s downfall.

Up north in Coahuila, Santos Laguna coach Eduardo Fentanes is hearing it from fans who want his scalp. The eighth-place Guerreros are a lackluster 3-3-4 and have also coughed up 21 goals in 10 matches.

“Las Laguneros” were done in by a soaring Chivas side that won its fourth straight match while Santos is giving up goals at an alarming pace (El Tri goalie Carlos Acevedo has had to pluck a ball out of his net nine times in the past three games).

After losing at León on Saturday, Atlético de San Luis coach André Jardine was compelled to admit that his fate is in the hands of ownership.

The Tuneros are on a five-game winless streak (0-1-4) that has seen the club’s playoff hopes dwindle considerably. The Brazilian manager guided his club to a 2-2-1 start, but momentum came to a dramatic halt upon losing to then-winless Tijuana. Atleti has scored just twice since that 1-0 loss to the Xolos, plummeting down to 15th place.

Coach Cocca presents first El Tri roster. dark. Next

Jardine had been given the proverbial vote of confidence by team president Alberto Marrero before the weekend, but we’ll have to wait and see if that was actually the kiss of death.