Matchday 6: Monterrey leap-frogs Pachuca into first place; América, Cruz Azul win

The Rayados held off highest-scoring team in Liga MX, limiting Tuzos to 3 shots on goal
Jordi Cortizo celebrates after scoring in the first half of Monterrey's victory over Pachuca, a win that boosted the Rayados to the top of the Liga MX standings.
Jordi Cortizo celebrates after scoring in the first half of Monterrey's victory over Pachuca, a win that boosted the Rayados to the top of the Liga MX standings. / JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/GettyImages

Monterrey 3, Pachuca 2

Pachuca’s time in first place came to an abrupt end as the Rayados replaced the Tuzos atop the Liga MX table with a 3-2 victory at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer

Jesús Gallardo put the hosts ahead just 11 minutes in and his El Tri teammate Jordi Cortizo doubled Monterrey's advantage just 5 minutes later.

Germán Berterame extended the Rayados' lead to 3-0 with a long-distance shot. The Argentine has now scored in two straight after he found the net against Comunicaciones in Wednesday's Concacaf Champions League match.

Pachuca made the final score respectable with late goals from Oussama Idrissi (79') and Nelson Deossa (90+5).

With the three goals against the Tuzos, Monterrey now has 12 on the season despite playing Saturday without scoring leader Brandon Vazquez. The star striker flew to Cincinnati to be with his wife as the couple awaited the birth of their first child. Vazquez just joined the Rayados from FC Cincinnati last month.

As for Pachuca, the Tuzos held the Liga MX leadership for only three days having justmoved atop the standings by outscoring León on Wednesday in a Matchday 2 make-up contest.

León 0, América 1

The game at the Camp Nou was played at a frantic pace, with exciting end-to-end action throughout. And both teams were finishing their rushes. There were 35 shots and 19 corner kicks, and the goalies stood up to the constant pressure, each producing 5 saves. 

The only goal came on a penalty shot by “Cabecita” Rodríguez in minute 90+7, a call that was VAR assisted, but properly so. León defender Stevin Barreiro stuck his arm up in the air as he contested a corner kick. A real silly foul for a veteran.

The heart-breaking loss leaves León in 15th place with 4 points, while América now sits in 2nd place, even with Monterrey on 14 points, but behind on goal differential.

The game was the first for Andrés Guardado against América in 17 years and “El Principito” enjoyed considerable success against the Aguilas before he left for Europe 

Guardado scored four bombs against Memo Ochoa before in 2006 and 2007, including both goals for Atlas in an Apertura 2006 victory.

But Saturday’s contest would not be so rewarding for “El Principito” as he was forced to ask out after straining his hamstring in minute 41.

Cruz Azul 3, Atlético de San Luis 0

The Cementeros continued to demonstrate that they deserve to be labeled a contender, taking apart a sinking Atlético de San Luis team 3-0.

“La Máquina Azul” was purring on all cylinders and Martín Anselmi’s men dominated the match, enjoying 54% possession and firing off 22 shots while preventing Atelti from gettin a single shot on goal.

Rodolfo Rotondi converted a penalty in the first half and Uriel Antuna and Rodrigo Huescas added goals in the second half

The result leaves Cruz Azul with 13 points from a 4-1-1 record though they did get a bit of bad news too as striker Gabriel Fernández was carted off the field with a knee injury that could put an end to his first season with the Cementeros.

Atleti has now lost four on the trot after opening with two straight victories, tumbling into 11th place.

Santos Laguna 0, Tigres 3

Juan Brunetta made his return to Estadio Corona a memorable one, scoring just 90 seconds into the match against his former team before adding another on 19th-minutes breakaway.

The reigning Liga MX assist champion tallied the opener by blocking a clearance attempt of the foot of Santiago Núñez. The ball took a big hop over the head of goalie Carlos Acevedo before settling just inside the far post.

Brunetta’s second came when Diego Lainez curled a pass behind the Santos defense from the Tigres end of the field and the former Guerrero outraced two defenders before slotting home past Acevedo.

Nico Ibánez contributed the third from the penalty spot and Tigres coach Robert Siboldi pulled most of his starters early to rest them ahead of next Wednesday's Concacaf Champions League clash against Vancouver Whitecaps.

This could prove to have been the final game for Santos Laguna coach Pablo Repetto as Nacho Ambriz is reportedly in talks with management. That might be seen as a positive outcome, especially as "Los Laguneros" are a disappointing 1-1-4.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

In other Matchday 6 results, last-place Mazatlán FC defeated 10-man Atlas 2-0 on Friday to climb out of the cellar, while Tijuana and Querétaro battled to a 1-1 draw later that night.

On Saturday, Necaxa remained undefeated when Diber Cambindo scored his second of the night in minute 89 to deny Toluca a road win. The Diablos Rojos had overturned a 2-1 deficit with two second-half goals in a 9-minute stretch but they failed to protect the lead.

The Rayos are in 7th place with 10 points from a 2-4-0 record, just ahead of Toluca who have 9 points from a 2-3-1 mark.

Also Saturday, Guadalajara edged visiting FC Juárez 2-1 to send the Bravos tumbling into the Liga MX basement with just 2 points. The Chivas into 6th place with 11 points.

Could this be a breakout year for Liga MX academy kids?. dark. Next. Could this be a breakout year for Liga MX academy kids?

Puebla visits UNAM at high noon Sunday in the final Liga MX match of the weekend.