Prodigal son Alexis Vega shines on return to ‘La Bombonera’

Tigres-Pumas cat fight ends in a draw; Pachuca wins and Necaxa stays unbeaten

Alexis Vega is wearing a Toluca kit for the first time since departing for Guadalajara in December 2018. Vega scored a goal in his first game back with the Diablos Rojos, helping the "Choriceros" climb to 7th place in the Liga MX table.
Alexis Vega is wearing a Toluca kit for the first time since departing for Guadalajara in December 2018. Vega scored a goal in his first game back with the Diablos Rojos, helping the "Choriceros" climb to 7th place in the Liga MX table. / Hector Vivas/GettyImages
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The Alexis Vega Revival Tour got off to a rousing start Saturday night as the much-criticized winger scored in his first game back with his boyhood club.

After a year to forget with Guadalajara, the 26-year-old Vega was shuffled off to Toluca in a move that Chivas management clearly saw as addition by subtraction. 

After missing the first four games of the Liga MX season due to lack of fitness, Vega finally suited up for the Diablos Rojos and was sent onto the Estadio Nemesio Diez pitch in minute 72 with Toluca leading León 3-1.

Less than 15 minutes later, Vega raced onto a nifty square pass into the box by Carlos Orrantia and blasted it into the net.

With the 4-1 victory, Toluca – the highest-scoring team in Liga MX – climbed into seventh place and Choricero Nation can’t help but feel excited about the team they watched dissect a decent Esmeraldas squad.

Tigres blow two-goal lead at home

Nico Ibáñez and Guillermo Martínez scored a brace each as Tigres and UNAM played to a 2-2 draw in a reprise of last season’s exciting semifinal series.

Tigres leaped out to a 2-0 lead with Ibáñez scoring either side of halftime (his first two goals of the Clausura 2024), and last season’s losing finalist looked certain to climb to the top of the Liga MX table.

That’s when Martínez stepped into the spotlight, taking advantage of poor marking inside the box to power home two headers in quick succession (72’ and 76’), the second at first annulled but confirmed after a lengthy VAR review. The goals were the first for Martínez since joining Pumas from Puebla.

In minute 84, André-Pierre Gignac saw his bid for the winner wiped out when VAR ruled he had handled the ball before putting it in the net.

With this result, Tigres moved to 3-2-0 (one of four remaining unbeaten teams) while UNAM sits in eighth place with 8 points (2-2-1).

Pachuca withstands late Xolos push 

The precocious Tuzos once again demonstrated explosive attacking potential as well as defensive vulnerabilities, this time holding off an underachieving Tijuana side 3-2

Saturday’s exciting showing came just three days after Pachuca outscored Atlas 4-3.

Against the Xolos, Moroccan Oussama Idrissi played the hero, providing rookie Miguel Rodríguez with a clever back-heel assist to open the scoring, then firing home from the edge of the box to put the Tuzos ahead 2-0.

Salomón Rondón got on the scoreboard again – he leads Liga MX with 4 goals now – sliding a shot inside the left post after beating the offside trap.

Guillermo Almada’s team is in sixth place with 9 points, while the Xolos are floundering near the bottom of the Liga MX table in 16th with 2 points.

Necaxa continues to surprise Liga MX pundits

Though they still look more like a pretender than a contender, the Rayos of Necaxa – aka, the Cardiac Kids – waited till late to react, finally finding the equalizer just before the final whistle.

On the road at lowly FC Juárez, Necaxa twice fell behind but found the answer deep into stoppage time when a solitary Edgar Méndez nodded home a pass at the back post, denying the Bravos their first win of the season.

“Los Electricistas” improved to 2-3-0 (9 points), good for fifth place, a stunning turnaround from last season, when they finished dead last in the Liga MX standings.

Next. Cementeros win third in a row. Cementeros win third in a row. dark

As for FC Juárez, the point they earned boosts them out of last place, though 17th place is nothing to write home about.