Pachuca denies Necaxa big home win with late-game penalty kick

Rayos remain one of two unbeaten Liga MX teams, but forced to settle for sixth draw of season

Necaxa's José Paradela (left) prepares to fend off Pachuca's Erick Sánchez in a Friday night Liga MX contest. The Rayos and Tuzos played to a 1-1 draw with Sánchez playing a key role in Pachuca's late equalizer.
Necaxa's José Paradela (left) prepares to fend off Pachuca's Erick Sánchez in a Friday night Liga MX contest. The Rayos and Tuzos played to a 1-1 draw with Sánchez playing a key role in Pachuca's late equalizer. / Jam Media/GettyImages
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Necaxa got a taste of its own medicine Friday night, conceding a stoppage-time goal to Pachuca that cost the Rayos a win. 

“Los electricistas” have made a habit of rescuing points with late-game heroics, scoring five goals after minute 83 to salvage two draws and steal two victories.

A season after finishing at the bottom of the Liga MX standings, Necaxa is one of two unbeaten Liga MX teams though their league-leading six draws are keeping them from sitting higher in the table.

For its part, the 1-1 result lifted Pachuca into a tie with Cruz Azul though the Cementeros’ better goal differential has the Mexico City club atop the Liga MX standings.

Necaxa right back Emilio Martínez put the home side ahead in minute 41 with a golazo from nearly 40 meters.

Trying to hold onto the slim advantage, the Rayos managed to stifle Pachuca’s high-powered attack (heading into the match, its 20 goals led all Liga MX teams), limiting the Tuzos to 2 shots on goal.

Then VAR entered the picture. 

Necaxa defender Alan Montes clipped Erick Sánchez as he tried to make a move in the box, the Pachuca player flopping to the ground and grabbing his left foot. Ref Jorge Camacho indicated a free kick for the Rayos, but before play resumed he was summoned to the video screen.

After scrutinizing the various angles provided, Camacho returned to the pitch and pointed to the spot: Penalty for Pachuca. 

Salomón Rondón’s low spot kick zipped under Ezequiel Usain’s left hand and Necaxa had to sweat out an additional 8 minutes to escape with a point.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

Querétaro earned its first “W” of the season, battering a sinking Puebla side in what may have been the final game for coach Ricardo Carbajal

A second straight ugly home loss might have been the last straw for Camoteros management. 

Up in Cd. Juárez, Monterrey – the other unbeaten Liga MX team – romped past the undermanned Bravos 3-0, with all three goals coming in the second half.

The Rayados climbed into third place while FC Juárez sits in last place, one of two winless Liga MX teams.

Saturday’s game notes

Matchday 8 continues tonight with a pair of attractive contests and one not so much.

The América-Cruz Azul clash is the marquee match-up of the weekend but the Guadalajara-UNAM game promises to be quite entertaining. Saturday’s third match – Tigres-Atlas will take a back seat to the games involving The Big Four.

América – defending Liga MX champs – will be looking to knock the Cementeros down a peg or two (“La Máquina Azul” top the Liga MX standings) while the Chivas are eager to avenge last season’s playoff elimination at the hands of the Pumas.

Off the pitch, América is dealing with a few issues that should not affect the outcome of the match though they could impact the season.

Winger Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodríguez is being wooed by a pair of MLS clubs. The Aguilas have a deep bench but fellow winger Alejandro Zendejas has seen a drop in form and midfielder Diego Valdés has been nicked up. 

Valdés is América’s top playmaker and his absences have hurt the club’s offensive production. “Los Azulcremas” led Liga MX in scoring last season but have managed just 11 goals in 8 games this season.

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Another potential distraction for the Aguilas – the ongoing contract talks with skipper Henry Martín. Management seems unwilling to reward América’s top striker, now 31, with an extension and one wonders how that might affect his performance.