Tigres roar, Aguilas soar: Last season's finalists are only teams off to 3-0-0 start

For second time this season, Tigres erase 1-0 deficit on road and go home with 3 points
Juan Brunetta (left) and Rafa Carioca react after Brunetta scored the game-winning goal against Atlético de San Luis. In other Liga MX action, América defeated FC Juárez 2-0, while Monterrey and Querétaro battled to a 1-1 draw.
Juan Brunetta (left) and Rafa Carioca react after Brunetta scored the game-winning goal against Atlético de San Luis. In other Liga MX action, América defeated FC Juárez 2-0, while Monterrey and Querétaro battled to a 1-1 draw. / Jam Media/GettyImages

Two quick second half goals gave Tigres a 2-1 win at Atlético de San Luis in a taut match that paired two of the five Liga MX teams off to 2-0-0 starts.

Two of the other three "perfect" teams through two games were in action on Wednesday night. Monterrey settled for a 1-1 home draw against Querétaro (new signee Brandon Vazquez scored his fist Liga MX goal for Monterrey), while América earned a 2-0 win at FC Juárez.

So now Tigres and América are the lone 3-0-0 teams, with Necaxa's chance to reach 3-0-0 coming Saturday against América.

All three midweek contests were from the Matchday 4 calendar but Tigres, Rayados and Aguilas requested the games be moved forward to reduce the stress from overloaded February schedules (the trio is participating in the Concacaf Champions League).

Tigres claw back from 1-0 down

Tigres coach Robert Siboldi was forced to make four changes to his starting line-up in a key early-season match-up of Liga MX title contenders. The host Tuneros had their best 11 available and were quick to spring forward, testing the Tigres defense a few times.

In minute 18, Tigres left back Jesús Angulo got careless as he ventured forward and Atlético de San Luis made him pay.

Ricardo Chávez dispossessed Angulo, knocking the ball to teammate Jordan Silva who zipped it forward to Léo Bonatini. The Argentine forward spun and delivered a pass to right winger Vitinho who was racing into the space vacated by Angulo.

The speedy Vitinho dribbled toward the box, drawing two retreating Tigres defenders to him before sliding a pass into the path of the onrushing Bonatini. Atleti’s leading scorer (he’s got a goal in each game this far) patiently allowed the ball to roll to his left foot, then cooly slotted home inside the far post.

Atleti nearly added another before the break. Left back Juan Manuel Sanabria raced onto a loose ball in the box and clanged a low shot off the left post and the hosts were on the front foot most of the half.

Twenty-six minutes after the restart, Tigres knotted things up with a lightning-quick strike.

Sebastián Córdova ran onto a volleyed back-pass from Nicolás Ibáñez and, just as Rodrigo Dourado closed down on him, the Tigres midfielder let fly from just above the half-moon, thumping a low shot inside the left post. Andrés Sánchez lunged but had no chance.

Two minutes later, Tigres pounced a second time with Ibáñez providing the helper yet again. A steal on the right side as Atleti tried to carry out was turned into a quick attack with Rafa Carioca rushing it forward then Ibáñez’s one-touch flick into the box found Juan Brunetta sneaking behind the defense before banging home the visitors’ second goal.

Liga MX water cooler talk

América’s metronomic midfielder Álvaro Fidalgo suddenly has a lot of suitors.

We reported yesterday that the 26-year-old Spaniard was being linked to Real Betis but once the Real Madrid academy grad was “on the market,” the iPhones at Coapa started ringing and buzzing. Among those inquiring was Zenit Saint Petersburg and their bid evidently got the Aguilas’ attention.

Unfortunately, América found it necessary to decline the offer due to fiscal uncertainty linked to global sanctions on Russia’s banking sector. So Fidalgo’s fate remains unclear especially as coach André Jardine was adamant about wanting to take a run at a second straight Liga MX title with the same group.

Across town in Mexico City, Cruz Azul has also seen its roster-shuffling plans foiled by non-football considerations. 

The winless Cementeros were set to repatriate Jorge Sánchez who is not seeing the field with FC Porto. The braintrust was convinced the El Tri right back would solve the team’s defensive issues.

The transaction is now in limbo. FIFA rules prohibit Sánchez from playing for a third team this season and Cruz Azul is scrambling to appeal. The argument is that though Sánchez was registered with Ajax at the beginning of the 2023-24 season, he did not play in a single game before he was sold to Porto.

There are also whispers that Porto is holding out for a better offer, believing they can squeeze some extra cash from an increasingly desperate Liga MX franchise.

Watching a splashy move become a spectacular bust might seem par for the course considering the front office chaos that has haunted Cementeros Nation for more than a decade. The new management team was supposed to restore respectability and competence, but so far the front office has made a habit of stepping in it.


There’s now less than a week remaining in the winter transfer window so Iván Alonso & Co are running out of time. And there are plenty of holes to fill in the line-up.