Cruz Azul put in a relentless performance on Sunday as they were able to overcome a tough first half sending off to earn late draw versus Xolos de Tijuana. In truth, it was a rough earned point for La Maquina, who even with a one less player and having conceded a controversial goal found a way back into the game with another solid performance.
Tactically speaking Cruz Azul have been tested in this young Liga MX Apertura. Most importantly, mentally the team looks its most capable in years. Cruz Azul’s strong tests will be coming later in the season versus top notch teams, but the draw at Tijuana was further proof that things are going towards the right direction under Pedro Caixinha.
Toluca entertained one of the surprises of the yung Apertura as the Diablos Rojos defeated Tigres 2-1 at the Estadio Universitario to end their unbeaten streak at home at 29 games. This was a huge surprise given that Toluca came in as heavy underdogs and without arguably their two best players, Alfredo Talavera and Rubens Sambueza.
The match, however, will be remembered by a horrible performance from referee Roberto Garcia Orozco. He was inconsistent with his decision making, and the defining moment of the match came in the 23rd minute when Guido Pizarro was sent off for a play very similar to one a few minutes before where Orozco decided to give Enrique Triverio a yellow card for leaving Jorge Torres Nilo bloodied up and needing assistance. Eventually, Tigres went down to 9 men and went on to lose despite a courageous second half. Rarely is there games where you can genuinely blame the referee for conditioning the match. This was a game that can go down as a defeat with the help of the officiating.
Continuing with the red card topic, Monterrey’s Stefan Medina got sent off in the 30th minute, and Club America earned their third straight victory of the season with a 3-0 win over Monterrey. It was a match that from the beginning was scripted as the most appealing inside Week 4, but thanks to the early red card, it ended up being a comfortable win for Miguel Herrera’s men. Perhaps the most important thing here is that las Águilas keep getting offensive production from all of their players. This time it was three different goalsorers: Roger Martinez, Bruno Valdez, and Andres Ibargüen. Tougher tests await América, but for now, Águilas fans are content with this 3-0-1 start. America has now earned 3 consecutive wins after starting the season with a very disappointing loss.
From the outset, this appeared like the ideal game for Chivas to end their winless streak at home. They were coming off a 2-2 draw with Toluca, while Santos arrived on the back of a tumultuous week that saw their league winning coach hand his resignation following an alleged physical altercation with one of his players. Santos found a way and the defending champs came from a goal down to snatch all three points in Zapopan. It is now 10 months without a league win for Chivas at home, totaling to eight defeats and three draws, and at this pace it doesn’t look like Chivas will be on the winning side of things, as they have some tough games coming up.