Ivan Toribio @boyleheights13
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Xolos de Tijuana’s defensive prowess wasn’t enough to expose Tigres from securing their second victory of the season after Tigres defeated the Xolos 1-0 on Sunday. The French strikerAndre-Pierre Gignac grabbed his second goal of the tournament as Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s side continue to look practically unstoppable at the Estadio Universitario. Tigres have now gone a total of 29 straight games without a defeat at home, and it’s looking like it is going to take something special to finally defeat them at the Universitario.
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In a game that was dubbed as the game of the week on the lead up to week 2, Cruz Azul just got past by Chivas with a minimal margin 1-0 to earn their second victory of the season. It was a game that was marred by heavy rain and tough field conditions, but thanks to a second half goal from Martin Cauteruccio, the Cementeros were able to earn all three points from a half-empty Estadio Chivas. Pedro Caixinha’s men played an intelligent game, and the Portuguese manager clearly outcoached his Paraguayan counterpart. Cruz Azul are having a stupendous start to the season, and there is a real feeling that this team can make it far in the 2018 Apertura. The same thing can’t be said about Chivas, who once again struggled to create any real disequilibrium in the opponent’s half. While one team points up (Cruz Azul), the other continues look down (Chivas).
Monterrey finished last season top of the league table, which is why it was no surprise that oddsmakers have them as favorites this for this 2018 Apertura. Like their rivals Tigres, they haven’t been able to create a spectacular performance for themselves after just two games, but they have quietly got the job done with two victories. Their latest victory came on Sunday when they took down Club León 2-0 in their own stadium. A first half red card helped, but Diego Alonso’s men got a comfortable victory from their visit to Guanajuato and should be considered favorites from now until the end of the regular season. They have the talent and scheme to win the title and this past Sunday they demonstrated how they can be lethal and precise with their own style of play.
It wasn’t the start Águilas fans had hoped for last week, but on Saturday, Club América notched their first win of the season by beating Atlas 3-0 at the Estadio Azteca. Miguel Herrera’s men needed help from 21-year-old Atlas goalkeeper Jose Hernandez, whose two errors led to defensive midfielder Guido Rodriguez netting an unprecedented double at at the Azteca. Rodriguez had never scored a goal at home for América, but he was the big difference maker here with two goals off of set-pieces in a near-perfect night for las Águilas. América fans will, no doubt, ask for more from their team, but this is a nice bounce back win and a victory they will look build on against Pachuca next week.
The game of the week was played in Ciudad Universitaria on Sunday, as Pumas UNAM defeated Necaxa 5-3 in a thrilling end to end match. 8 goals in one match was the outcome. It’s still early in the campaign, but there is no doubt this game will go down as one of the games of the season. Victor Davila opened the scoring early in the 13th minute before Pumas were twice forced to come from a goal down to win the game. There was some gorgeous goals in this one, but ultimately, Necaxa’s lack of defending was to blame for the Rayos’s defeat. In particular, Necaxa’s whole left side was left to be exposed, with former América defender Ventura Alvarado having a game to forget. Pumas, on the other hand, kept their foot on the pedal after beating Veracruz 2-0 in the first week. The new-look Universitarios are looking like one the brightest teams in the league and the wonder now is if they will be able to avoid the same inconsistencies they suffered from last season after also starting that season in winning form. Consistency is key and staying healthy is a must as Pumas along with Cruz Azul seem to be poised to make a deep run this season.