Puebla axes Arce; Bravos and Tuneros nipping at Chivas’ heels

Eduardo Arce (left) was dismissed by Puebla after the team got off to a 0-1-4 start. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Eduardo Arce (left) was dismissed by Puebla after the team got off to a 0-1-4 start. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M5 Arce
Tijuana’s Lucas Cavallini (left) was ejected just before halftime of Tuesday’s game vs Guadalajara and is now under investigation by the Liga MX Disciplinary Committee for a disparaging gesture he made as he left the field. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images) /

Three Liga MX teams have yet to find a victory this season and now two of them have fired their coach.

On Wednesday, Puebla announced that Eduardo Arce has been sacked, victimized by the club’s 0-1-4 start and a league-worst defense (10 goals allowed in five games). “La Franja” lost 1-0 to Mazatlán FC on Tuesday, the team’s fourth consecutive setback.

The only thing keeping the Camoteros out of the basement is the even lousier start by Cruz Azul (who fired Ricardo Ferretti prior to Matchday 4). Necaxa (0-2-3) is the third winless Liga MX team.

Former Santos Laguna coach Eduardo Fentanes appears to have the inside track for the Puebla job though should he accept he’ll find a bare cupboard as “La Franja” has sold off much of the talent that has seen them reach the playoffs six consecutive seasons.

Liga MX Disciplinary Committee convened

Tijuana striker Lucas Cavallini is under investigation due to a derogatory gesture after he was shown a controversial red card in Tuesday’s game at Guadalajara.

With the Xolos and the Chivas engaged in a scoreless tussle just before halftime, put up his arm in preparation to contest a high ball and his elbow caught Guadalajara defender Antonio Briseño in the neck.

Adonai Escobedo sent Cavallini to the showers and VAR could not convince the ref otherwise even though replays showed the Canadian forward did not swing his elbow at his rival. Yes, contact was made, but it was not a violent move nor was it an apparent attempt to injure.

As Cavallini walked to the showers he accused the ref of having been paid off, making a gesture of counting bills out.

Liga MX officials will review the incident and Cavallini. There has been no comment from Tijuana who would be in their right to appeal the red card though that would not prevent the Disciplinary Committee from punishing the player for his insolence.

Top-of-the-table double-take

A glance at the Liga MX standings might cause you to look twice as right behind league-leading Guadalajara (13 points) are FC Juárez and Atlético de San Luis.

The Bravos (11 points) and the Tuneros (10 points) won their respective midweek games in convincing fashion: Juárez dispatching UNAM 4-1 and San Luis thumping 10-man León 3-0.

The Bravos failed to make the Liga MX playoffs last season while the 11th-seeded Tuneros were knocked out in the quarterfinals by No. 2 América after a surprising win in the wildcard round (over León, ironically enough).

For their part, FC Juárez ownership has invested smartly in the club and the Bravos are a legitimate contender this season with Spaniard Aitor García and Peru international Santiago Ormeño leading the attack and veteran goalie Alfredo Talavera directing a young and talented defense that includes star-in-the-making Moises Mosquera.

Meanwhile Atleti has responded to new coach Gustavo Leal (André Jardine left for Club América) and has demonstrated discipline and explosiveness. Wingers John Murillo and Mateo Klimowicz have been dangerous on the counter while captain Javier Güemez fronts a steady defense led by Unai Bilbao and newcomer Julio César Domínguez. At the back, goalie Diego Urtiaga, 24, had been a pleasant surprise.

The Bravos top all Liga MX teams with 12 goals and the Tuneros are second with 11.

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As for Juárez, their 3-2-0 record is not the result of an easy schedule. The Bravos defeated América on the road in the season opener and played both Tigres and Guadalajara to 1-1 draws at home.