Cañoneros hand 10-man Necaxa first loss of the season

Atlético de San Luis finally gets a win; Ambriz making a difference at Santos Laguna

Gustavo del Prete (left) exults after scoring the game-winner for Mazatlán FC against Necaxa. The win – just their second of the Clausura 2024 – boosted the Cañoneros into 15th place in the Liga MX standings. The loss was the first this season for the Rayos.
Gustavo del Prete (left) exults after scoring the game-winner for Mazatlán FC against Necaxa. The win – just their second of the Clausura 2024 – boosted the Cañoneros into 15th place in the Liga MX standings. The loss was the first this season for the Rayos. / Sergio Mejia/GettyImages
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And then there was one

Necaxa fell from the ranks of the unbeaten Friday night, leaving Monterrey as the lone Liga MX team with a zero in its loss column.

The Rayos were their own worst enemy: Fernando Arce picked up two yellow cards in 3 minutes for silly fouls; Diber Cambindo badly missed a first-half penalty; passing was atrocious (Necaxa completed just 65% of its attempts).

Mazatlán FC spent most of the game in the Rayos’ half of the field, especially with the man advantage over the final 50 minutes. If not for goalie Ezequiel Unsain, this could have been a rout. 

Necaxa’s Argentine goalie made five saves on the night, three from point-blank range as the Rayos defense was uncharacteristically leaky, even before going down a man.

The Cañoneros finally broke through in minute 59, but a Necaxa counterattack silenced the El Encanto crowd just 90 seconds later.

The hosts ended the suspense 19 minutes later as Gustavo del Prete spun free inside the half-moon and fired a left-footer inside the right post.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

Earlier Friday night, Atlético de San Luis ended its 7-game winless streak, pounding Puebla 4-0. Atleti benefited from a controversial red card that saw the visiting Camoteros go down to 10 men just 16 minutes into the match.

San Luis likely didn’t need the assistance as Puebla’s defense is the worst in Liga MX (23 goals allowed and a –17 goal differential) but Atleti said “thank you” and scored twice in each half.

In Querétaro, Santos Laguna won its second in a row under new coach Ignacio Ambriz, edging the Gallos Blancos 1-0. 

Harold Preciado celebrated his return to the line-up by banging home the winner in minute 76. Preciado – the reigning Liga MX scoring champ – missed the previous four matches with a thigh injury.

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Ambriz moves to 2-0-1 since taking over for Pablo Repetto. The former Liga MX Coach of the Year has revamped the Guerreros’ line-up, giving minutes to kids from the club’s academy system.