Amarilla plays spoiler as Mazatlán FC steals points from Guadalajara

Cardiac Kids: Late goal by Necaxa youngster helps never-say-die Rayos remain unbeaten

Luis Amarilla of Mazatlán FC celebrates after scoring against Guadalajara in a Liga MX contest Friday night. The Cañoneros and Chivas played to a 2-2 draw.
Luis Amarilla of Mazatlán FC celebrates after scoring against Guadalajara in a Liga MX contest Friday night. The Cañoneros and Chivas played to a 2-2 draw. / Sergio Mejia/GettyImages
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Liga MX Friday doubleheader provides pair of fantastic finishes

Mazatlán FC scored twice after minute 86 to put an end to Guadalajara’s five-game win streak and prevent the Chivas from climbing into the top 4.

Captain Víctor Guzmán found the net early in each half for Guadalajara – a minute-13 penalty kick and a right-footed blast from inside the box – and the Chivas appeared to be well on their way to their fourth win of the season.

Then up stepped Luis Amarilla. The 28-year-old is in his second season with the Cañoneros (acquired from Minnesota United) but has struggled to contribute. He scored just 4 goals in 14 games last season and had yet to score during the Clausura 2024, but he was Johnny-on-the-spot in minute 87 and again in stoppage time.

With the clock running down and Guadalajara clogging the box with defenders, Alonso Escoboza lofted a cross toward goal. Chivas keeper Raúl Rangel came off his line to  clear the ball but just as he did so he collided with teammate José Castillo.

Rangel mis-hit his punch-out effort and the ball fell to Amarilla who wasted no time in firing it into the vacated net.

Ten minutes later with just seconds remaining, Mazatlán was awarded a free kick on the right flank after Yael Padilla recklessly tackled Alan Medina from behind. While the teams were lining up, VAR summoned ref Adonai Escobedo to the video monitor and, after a brief delay, Padilla was shown a red card.

By now, the clock had ticked 9 minutes into stoppage time and the teams lined up once again for the free kick with Cañoneros goalie Ricardo Gutiérrez joining the scrum. 

Escoboza lifted a perfect ball into the crowd and it was knocked down to Jair Díaz. His hurried shot was blocked and bounded to the right where none other than Amarilla was waiting. The Paraguayan forwarded chested the ball down to his feet and slammed a right-footer through a crowd and into the back of the net.

Ref Escobedo blew his whistle before play resumed and Guadalajara players could do little but trudge off the El Encanto pitch.

The Cañoneros improved to 1-2-4 and climbed into 12th place while the Chivas slipped to 3-3-1 and momentarily moved into 6th place.

Querétaro 1, Necaxa 1

Necaxa did it again, scoring late to rescue a draw for the third consecutive game and preserve its unbeaten record.

This time it was Diego Gómez who played the hero. The 20-year-old midfielder scored his first-ever Liga MX goal in minute 90+3 to salvage the draw at Querétaro.

The splendid strike papers over a poor performance by “Los Electricistas” who played the entire second half with a man advantage.

The winless Gallos Blancos took the lead in minute 25 thanks to an unfortunate own goal created by Raúl Sandoval who’d gotten behind Rayos right back Emilio Martínez. Sandoval got into the box left of goal and tried to cut a pass back into the middle of the box but it ricocheted off the trailing Martínez and deflected into the net past a helpless Ezequiel Unsain.

Just before halftime, Querétaro defender Miguel Barbieri was harshly shown a second yellow card and the Gallos Blancos were down to 10 men.

The hosts fought to protect the lead and they were assisted by shoddy play by Necaxa. The Rayos’ spacing was terrible, their passing was worse and the decision-making was atrocious. We won’t criticize Eduardo Fentanes’ tactical decisions, but only because there really was no evidence of tactics.

Despite the man advantage, “Los Hidrocálidos” managed just one shot on goal through 90 minutes. Fortunately, there was 6 minutes of stoppage time added on.

In minute 90+3, Necaxa played a short corner kick to Brayan Garnica and he zipped it to Gómez as the youngster moved toward the 18-meter line. Gómez’s first touch was poor, but he recovered and his lunging toe poke cleared the scrum in the middle of the box, clanged off the right post and bounced into the back of the net.

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With that goal, six of Necaxa’s 12 goals have come later than minute 83 and it was the third Rayos goal in stoppage time.

Necaxa now moves to 2-5-0, good for 11 points and 8th place in the Liga MX table, while the Gallos Blancos are in 13th place with a 0-5-2 record.