Matchday 7 so far: Quick hits, observations and a ‘Clásico Joven’

Julián Quinones (left) battled Cruz Azul's Juan Escobar all night ... even after the final whistle. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Julián Quinones (left) battled Cruz Azul's Juan Escobar all night ... even after the final whistle. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M7 Clasico
Tigres superstar André-Pierre Gignac (left) congratulates Raymundo Fulgencio (right) after the youngster scored his second of the night as the reigning Liga MX champs raced past visiting Querétaro 5-0. In between is Luis Quiñones. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

By halftime of the Clásico Joven, Cruz Azul had committed only two fouls but one was a Carlos Rodríguez elbow to the face of Richard Sánchez that earned a red card. And then things got worse for the Cementeros. That it happened against their bitterest Liga MX rivals was doubly aggravating.

Then two Sebastián Jurado turnovers just before the half resulted directly in América goals (both golazos, to be quite frank; watch the highlights here) and the Aguilas led 3-1 at the half in a game that Cruz Azul was controlling. The Cruz Azul goalie was booed by the home crowd for much of the second half.

The reason the Cementeros were on the front foot for the first half hour of the match was because Rodríguez was ripping holes in the América defense with his passing. Even after the harsh turn of events in minute 37, Cruz Azul went into the locker room having enjoyed 62% possession while outshooting the Aguilas 8-6 (each club had 3 shots on target).

Anyway, the short-handed Cementeros played valiantly, cut the deficit in half in minute 80 and then came close to finding an equalizer before game’s end. The second half was a wild affair, with both teams just missing with haymakers, while tussles and shoving matches interrupted play down the stretch (and after the final whistle, too!).

Champs make statement

Just a week after a pathetic performance against the Pumas, holders Tigres find themselves at the top of the Liga MX table.

The Northern Giants routed visiting Querétaro 5-0 Saturday night just three days after late heroics by Juan Pablo Vigón produced a 3-2 win over visiting Santos Laguna.

This time Robert Siboldi’s men didn’t wait until late, grabbing the Gallos Blancos by the throat from the outset. Raymundo Fulgencio scored twice in the first half and André-Pierre Gignac, Vigón and Nicolás Ibáñez piled on.

The result is Tigres now has 14 points, bettering FC Juárez on goal differential (+9 to +7).

Atlético de San Luis and/or Guadalajara (both with 13 points) can leapfrog Tigres with a win Sunday. The Tuneros host Atlas (9 points) while the Chivas welcome Monterrey (7 points) to Estadio Akron.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

Santos Laguna climbed into 5th place with a 2-1 victory over UNAM in a scrappy contest with Harold Preciado’s league-best 6th goal of the Apertura 2023 serving as the game-winner.

Earlier Saturday, León continued to sputter on offense, managing a home draw against last-place Necaxa thanks to an unfortunate own-goal by 20-year-old Rayos debutante Waldo Madrid.

The Esmeraldas were seen as a legitimate title contender this season but after seven games “La Fiera” is a mediocre 2-2-3 and in 10th place.

On Friday night, Puebla won its second straight under interim manager Ricardo Carbajal. The Camoteros trounced visiting Tijuana 3-0. It might soon be time for Xolos coach Miguel Herrera to pack his bags.

And finally, FC Juárez kicked off the Liga MX weekend by running circles around Mazatlán FC, momentarily climbing into first place.

Diego Valoyes made a splash in his Bravos debut. The Colombian winger banged home a golazo in minute 13 then assisted on Juárez’s other three goals in the club’s 3-1 triumph.

dark. Next. Five El Tri stars find new homes in Europe

Matchday 7 continues Sunday with three games: Pachuca (6 points) at Toluca (9 points); Monterrey (7 points) at Guadalajara (13 points); and Atlas (9 points) at Atlético de San Luis (13 points).