When it rains it pours: Aguilas beat Tuzos in deluge; Chivas all wet

Henry Martín (left) had a goal and an assist to lead América to a 3-0 win over Pachuca at a waterlogged Estadio Azteca. The Aguilas lead Liga MX with 24 points after 11 games. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Henry Martín (left) had a goal and an assist to lead América to a 3-0 win over Pachuca at a waterlogged Estadio Azteca. The Aguilas lead Liga MX with 24 points after 11 games. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M11 a
Rogelio Funes Mori gestures in search of a foul call during Tuesday’s Puebla-Monterrey game in a Liga MX Matchday 11 contest. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Another Liga MX Midweek Matchday kicked off with a twin bill featuring title favorites Monterrey (at Puebla) and América (hosting Pachuca). But the top Liga MX headline of the day (of the season?) was the suspension of Alexis Vega and two Chivas teammates.

First, the onfield action: Puebla continued its climb out of the cellar with a 1-1 draw against the mighty Rayados who continue to fall off the pace being set by América. Monterrey – the No. 1 seed last season – finds itself in 9th place with 14 points (but with two games in hand).

For their part, the Aguilas ran riot over Pachuca at the Estadio Azteca Aquatic Center (it only seemed that way because a first-half deluge sopped the pitch such that the ball left a wake as it rolled along). Reigning Liga MX MVP Henry Martín recorded his first goal of what has been an injury-prone season for him, and added an assist in América’s 4-0 victory.

“Los Azulcremas” (24 points) extended their lead atop the Liga MX table, now 4 points clear of Tigres who host 8th-place Toluca on Wednesday. The youthful – and error-prone – Tuzos find themselves in 14th place with a 2-5-4 record, looking less and less like a playoff team.

Crisis in Chivas Nation deepens

Guadalajara owner Amaury Vergara ordered Team Mexico winger Alexis Vega, left back Cristián Calderón and Raúl Martínez suspended and demoted after the trio violated team regulations over the weekend in Toluca.

This comes the same day that published reports claiming that the reason last season’s captain Víctor “El Pocho” Guzmán has been MIA since August is that he slugged coach Veljko Paunovic in the head.

Since early September, the Serbian manager has been sporting stitches above his left eyebrow that he attributed to a tennis accident. Guzmán denies hitting his coach, but the fact remains that he has seen fewer than 90 minutes of action in the team’s past five games, appearing in just two of them.

If the punch-up is true it is just another example of the deep disciplinary issues at Verde Valle, a worrisome trend that was compounded by the news of the punishment, made public via a curt two-paragraph communique.

Whispers in the press suggest the infraction was bringing girls into the team hotel after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Toluca.

Whatever the cause, the involvement of Vega was a big disappointment coming as it does just a couple weeks after the El Tri stalwart declared a newfound commitment to fitness and focus. This latest transgression could conceivably cost Vega an invite to the national team during this month’s FIFA break.

Meanwhile, the Chivas have to put this latest scandal behind them and try to figure out how to stop their freefall. “El Rebaño Sagrado” is on a six-game winless streak (0-2-4) and has plummeted from first place to 7th, pending the outcome of the remaining Matchday 11 games.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

Veteran jack-of-all-trades Jesús Dueñas can add plaintiff to his stuffed résumé (the ambidextrous fullback/midfielder/winger is also a five-time Liga MX champion).

The 34-year-old has sued his former team, FC Juárez, over an allegedly forged contract, a violation that could cost Bravos ownership a rather pretty peso.

Dueñas left Tigres in the summer of 2022 for a three-year contract. After a year with the Bravos,  he was told this past summer that his services were no longer needed. In claiming they had no further financial obligations, club officials showed him a bogus one-year contract.

The case is now in front of Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) and pundits suggest FC Juárez could face a very steep fine, or worse.

Next. Baffling decision annuls Puebla victory over Tijuana. dark

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