Liga MX Matchday 3 got off to a frantic start with visiting Santos Laguna outscoring Puebla 3-2 in a game that saw 46 shots taken.
Harold Preciado contributed a brace with Juan Brunetta scoring the winner to make up for a horrendous first half that saw the Argentine miss two penalty kicks and knock a gimme into the side netting.
The host Camoteros led 2-1 when goalie Carlos Rodríguez was whistled for a penalty just before halftime. Rodríguez dived to his right and saved Brunetta’s first shot but was ruled to have left his line early. The frustrated keeper then blocked Brunetta’s second attempt but again left the line early. For the third try, Preciado took the ball and fired it into the netting.
With less than a quarter-hour remaining in teh match, Brunetta gave the Guerreros their first win of the young Liga MX season by poking home a nifty cutback from Emerson Rodríguez. Santos goalie Gibrán Lajud earned Man of the Match honors after making 8 saves, several key ones coming during a second-half downpour.
Elsewhere in Liga MX
In Friday’s nightcap, Alan Montes scored a stoppage-time goal to earn Necaxa a 1-1 draw against visiting Tijuana. The header off a Cristián González corner kick was the first Liga MX goal for Montes, a 22-year-old defender. Carlos González had put the Xolos in front in minute 73 with his own header, his first goal since with Tijuana after four seasons with Toluca.
Matchday 2 continues Sunday with three games, all set to kick-off a 6 pm, presumably so that they are over before El Tri takes the field against Costa Rica in a Gold Cup quarterfinal contest.
Winless Cruz Azul hosts Toluca, Guadalajara faces Atlético de San Luis in its home opener and Tigres pays a visit to FC Juárez. The reigning Liga MX champs will be in the border town without star striker André-Pierre Gignac who came up lame in training this week.
Sunday’s calendar features Mazatlán FC at UNAM and Atlas at Monterrey, while Monday sees León welcoming Pachuca.
The Querétaro-América match was postponed as Estadio Corregidora was deemed unplayable by Liga MX officials. The turf is a complete mess after a few days of heavy rains combined with damage caused by a June 25 concert at the stadium.
One note of interest is that the new Chivas signing – Erick Gutiérrez – won’t play this weekend as his transfer has not been formalized. Coach Veljko Paunovic said “Guti” is not yet in game shape anyway so his reintroduction to Liga MX will have to wait. It won’t be long, however, as there is a good chance he will make his Chivas debut next Thursday against Necaxa.
Will Chávez’s European dreams be fulfilled? And Edson?
Pachuca owner Jesús Martínez revealed the team is negotiating with unnamed European teams about a transfer involving midfielder Luis Chávez.
The difficulty the Tuzos are experiencing is that Chávez’s valuation has spiked after a star turn in the World Cup. Before the tournament, Chávez was valued at $3.3 million but after his praiseworthy performance in Qatar that soared to $8.8 million.
In other news, Bayern Munich is said to have renewed its interest in acquiring Edson Álvarez from Ajax. The former América midfielder was thought to be headed to the Bundesliga earlier this month, but talks with Borussia Dortmund collapsed due to Ajax’s high asking price.
The principle roadblock for Bayern appears to be the team’s ongoing efforts to bring in Harry Kane, a purchase that would basically drain the club’s transfer funds.