Matchday 4: Pachuca outscores Atlas in goal-fest; Cruz Azul wins second straight

Midweek Matchday in Liga MX: Javier López (left) reacts after scoring the game-winning goal for Pachuca against Atlas.
Midweek Matchday in Liga MX: Javier López (left) reacts after scoring the game-winning goal for Pachuca against Atlas. / Agustin Cuevas/GettyImages

Midweek Matchday provides Liga MX fans with goals aplenty

“La Chofis” López shook free from his marker in stoppage time and raced onto a free kick that bounced inside the box, heading it into the net to give Pachuca a 4-3 win over Atlas on Wednesday night.

From the left flank, Erick Sánchez lofted his free kick toward the top of the box where Sergio Barreto deflected it toward the back side where López got to it before Camilo Vargas could react.

The victory during the first Midweek Matchday of the Clausura 2024 lifted the Tuzos into 7th place with 6 points (and Pachuca has a game in hand), while Atlas is buried in 13th place with 4 points from four games.

The visiting Zorros jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 9 minutes by taking advantage of defensive miscues.

New Pachuca striker Salomón Rondón continued to endear himself with the home fans, scoring twice in nine minutes to even score. The Venezuelan now has 3 goals in three games.

“Los Rojinegros” fell asleep on a corner kick and left the taker unmarked. Alan Bautista took the return pass and dribbled unmolested toward goal, then roofed a sharp-angled shot past Vargas to send Pachuca into the locker room at halftime with a 3-2 lead.

Atlas equalized against the run of play in minute 59 when “Rivaldo” Lozano outraced Carlos Sánchez to the back post as the trailer on a fast break and nodded the ball over the line.

Play got ragged after that and it looked like the game would end 3-3 until Abraham Bass committed a reckless foul on the left flank about 40 meters from goal. That’s when Tuzos captain Erick Sánchez stepped into the spotlight to take the kick and little Javi López stood at the far end of the scrum gathered at the top side of the box …

Cementeros 1, Xolos 0

In a sloppily played contest on Tuesday, Cruz Azul came away with a second consecutive victory, edging lowly Tijuana 1-0.

The Cementeros muffed two easy opportunities early – Alexis Gutiérez whiffed on a cross with an open net in front of him; Gabriel Fernández missed wide right with an easy chip from 10 meters after Xolos goalie Jesús Corona left a terrible rebound. 

“La Máquina” also had a goal disallowed when video replay revealed that a toenail on Angel Sepúlveda’s left foot was barely offside.

Still, Cruz Azul took the lead just 37 seconds after halftime with a quick strike when left winger Rodolfo Rotondi fed Alexis Gutiérrez as he ran into the box and his crisp square pass found the onrushing Sepúlveda who thumped a left-footer inside the near post.

Fifteen minutes later, Xolos forward Raúl Zúñiga somehow cleared the crossbar from 6 meters in front of goal, squandering Tijuana’s best chance to equalize.

The win lifted “La Máquina Azul” momentarily into fifth place with 7 points from a 2-1-1 record). 

The clean sheet was Cruz Azul’s second in four matches. The Cementeros posted just two shut-outs all of last season when they finished in 16ht place.

Cañoneros climb out of the basement

Mazatlán came into Matchday 4 as the lone Liga MX team without a point, but after a scrappy home draw against León the Cañoneros are off the schneid.

León’s Federico Viñas opened the scoring before Gustavo del Prete scored again for The Purple Gang (his second in two games since he joined Mazatlán from UNAM).

Edgar Bárcenas put the hosts in front in minute 28 but Angel Mena’s penalty conversion pulled the Esmeraldas even again, and that was all the scoring at the Estadio Encanto.

Other Liga MX results

Necaxa remained unbeaten despite playing the final 12 minutes against UNAM with 10 men, twice erasing one-goal deficits and battling the Pumas to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.

Edgar Méndez (49’) and José Paradela (54’) were the scorers for the Rayos while Ulises Rivas (42’) and Lisandro Magallán (52’) got on the scoresheet for UNAM. Rivas, a defensive midfielder, now has three goals after scoring just twice a season ago.

Necaxa now sits in fourth place with 8 points (2-2-0) while the Pumas are in fifth place with 7 points.


On Tuesday night, Santos Laguna spanked visiting Puebla, sending the Camoteros into the Liga MX basement. 

With the 3-0 victory, the Guerreros have climbed into a 10th-place tie with León. Harold Preciado – the reigning Liga MX Golden Boot winner – scored his third for “Los Laguneros,” lifting the Colombian sniper into a 7-way tie atop the goal-scoring list.