Liga MX in International Competitions: Where to Watch

All four of the Mexican clubs participating in international competitions are in action this week. Pachuca and América will play the second legs of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series, while Atlas and Tigres UANL have games in the Copa Libertadores.

First up is Pachuca, who will be playing the Montreal Impact on Tuesday night. These two teams drew 2-2 in the first leg in Mexico, which gives the Canadians a bit of an advantage here due to the away goals tiebreaker. Pachuca needs a win by any margin or a draw with three goals or more to advance, while Montreal would reach the semifinals with a win, a goalless draw, or a 1-1 draw. Should the two draw 2-2, the game would go to extra time and penalties if needed.

Then on Wednesday night, América will host Saprissa while Atlas travels to Chile to face Colo Colo. América picked up a 0-3 away win in the first leg, meaning their ticket is all-but-punched to the CONCACAF semifinals. A win or draw, and even a loss by up to two goals would be enough for América to advance, while Saprissa needs to score at least four goals in a win in order to overcome the first leg deficit. A 0-3 Saprissa win would send the game to extra time and penalties if needed.

In the Libertadores, Atlas and Colo Colo both have a 1-0-1 record and will look to catch up to group leader Santa Fe. The Chileans won their previous home game in this competition and will look to put their home field advantage to good use against the Rojinegros. Atlas rested the majority of their team for this game, playing substitutes and bench players in a 3-0 loss in league play this weekend, so the pressure is on to get a good result here.

Wrapping up the international schedule on Thursday night, Tigres UANL will travel to Argentina to take on River Plate. Tigres won their opening Libertadores game against Juan Aurich, while River Plate fell to San José at altitude in Bolivia. The Argentinians will want to make up for their opening loss with a good home result here.

TV Schedule – All times Eastern, home team listed first

CONCACAF Champions League – Quarterfinals Second Leg
Tuesday, March 3
Montreal Impact (CAN) vs Pachuca – 8:00 PM – Fox Sports 2 / Galavision
Wednesday, March 4
América vs Saprissa (CRC) – 10:00 PM – Fox Sports 2 / Univision Deportes

Copa Libertadores Week 3
Wednesday, March 4
Colo Colo (CHI) vs Atlas – 5:30 PM – Fox Deportes
Thursday, March 5
River Plate (ARG) vs Tigres UANL – 6:00 PM – Fox Deportes

Clausura 2015 Week 8 Statistics

standings and statisticsTijuana remained in first place with a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Pachuca, while Pumas UNAM slipped into last place after a 3-0 loss to Tigres UANL, their fourth consecutive defeat.

Veracruz remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win against Atlas, and the Tiburones Rojos are the only unbeaten team remaining. There are no winless teams left, as Monarcas Morelia finally picked up a win, defeating Jaguares de Chiapas 3-2.

In the relegation fight, all four involved teams – Leones Negros, Puebla, Chivas de Guadalajara and Veracruz – picked up wins, which keeps Leones at the bottom of the Tabla de Cociente but brings them closer to their rivals due to their more volatile points-per-game average.

Tijuana still has the best offense in the league with 17 goals scored, followed by Veracruz with 13 and then América and Toluca with 12 apiece. Leones Negros and Monterrey are tied for the worst offense with five goals each, just ahead of Cruz Azul, who has scored six.

In terms of individual goalscoring, Matías Alustiza (Puebla) and Julio César Furch (Veracruz) moved to the top of the standings with their braces this weekend, which brought them to six goals apiece. They’re followed by Avilés Hurtado (Jaguares) and Dayro Moreno (Tijuana), who have both scored five.

On the other end of the field, Cruz Azul and Veracruz are tied for the best defense in the league after having allowed four goals each. They’re followed by Tigres UANL, who has conceded five, and then América and Chivas, who have each allowed six. Jaguares and Pumas, who have both shipped 16 goals, are tied for the worst defense, and they’re followed by Monterrey, Morelia, and Querétaro, who have each conceded 13.

On the disciplinary side of things, the referees handed out 36 yellow cards and five reds, making this the week with the most expulsions to date. Cruz Azul still tops the Fair Play table with 10 yellow cards, the fewest in the league, while Atlas’s 27 yellows and one red keep them at the bottom of the Fair Play standings for another week. Pumas and América have picked up the most red cards, with three apiece.

League and relegation standings after the jump:

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Chivas de Guadalajara vs Monterrey – Jornada 8

chivas monterreyChivas de Guadalajara maintained their three-point buffer in front of Puebla in the relegation standings with a 3-0 win against Monterrey in the final game of Jornada 8. Chivas was able to run up the score after John Stefan Medina was sent off for Monterrey, who suffered their first loss under new coach Antonio Mohamed.

With all three of Chivas’s relegation rivals winning earlier this weekend, they were obligated to do the same to avoid slipping down to penultimate in the Tabla de Cociente. The game started off at a frenetic pace, with chances coming at both ends, but overall the home team had the better of the run of play.

Chivas was able to open the scoring just before the half-hour mark, when Raúl López took the ball upfield and sent a cross in to the back post, where Aldo de Nigris had gotten a step on his marker. De Nigris won an uncontested header, sending the ball down past Jona Orozco to give Chivas the 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. Out of respect for his former team, De Nigris did not celebrate.

“Turco” Mohamed turned to his bench at halftime in a bid to get Monterrey back into the game, and the Rayados did create a few chances in the second half. They nearly forced an own goal in the 61st minute, when Jair Pereira slid in to clear a cross but mis-hit the ball and sent it towards his own goal, where it hit the post and went out for a corner kick.

However, the Rayados would be reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute, when John Stefan Medina picked up his second yellow card of the night for a foul on De Nigris, and it didn’t take long for Chivas to exploit their man advantage.

In the 75th minute, Marco Fabián sent a cross in for Raúl López, whose header made it 2-0 for the home team; ten minutes later, Fabián sent in a corner kick that Carlos Salcedo headed home for the definitive 3-0 score.

Monterrey was unable to produce any sort of response, with the Rayados stumbling to a fifth consecutive road loss.

With the 3-0 win, Chivas reaches 14 points while Monterrey remains on seven.

Highlights

Lineups

Chivas: Luis Michel, Miguel Ángel Ponce, Jair Pereira (Fernando Arce 79′), Carlos Salcedo, Carlos Salcido, Marco Fabián, Raúl López, Israel Castro, Isaác Brizuela (Néstor Vidrio 69′), Carlos Fierro (Ángel Reyna 66′), Aldo de Nigris.

Monterrey: Jonathan Orozco, Severo Meza, Luis López, John Stefan Medina, Efraín Velarde (Edwin Cardona 62′), Jesús Zavala, Alexander Mejía (Cándido Ramírez 46′), Pablo Barrera, Neri Cardozo, Luis Madrigal (Omar Arellano 70′), Dorlan Pabón.

Toluca vs Cruz Azul – Jornada 8

toluca cruz azulAfter going unbeaten for the first six weeks of the season, Cruz Azul has now lost two games in a row, while Toluca snapped a three-game winless streak with their 1-0 win against La Máquina on Sunday afternoon.

Playing at home, the Diablos Rojos were obligated to look for the win, particularly given their recent run of poor form, while Cruz Azul was looking to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s loss to Chivas. The first half was played at a good tempo, with the two teams exchanging chances.

Mauro Formica nearly put the visitors in front just two minutes in, but he mis-hit the ball inside the six-yard box and Alfredo Talavera was able to intervene. Toluca responded through Carlos Esquivel and Víctor Hugo Montaño, who each saw their attempts go just wide.

In the second half, Toluca began to control the game more, and José Cardozo’s substitutions proved to be good ones. Wilder Guisao created a good chance moments after entering the game, and fellow substitute Lucas Lobos would provide the assist on the game winner.

In the 77th minute, Lobos swung in a corner kick, and Toluca’s captain Paulo da Silva rose highest, heading the ball past Jesús Corona to give the home team the 1-0 lead. Da Silva has developed a knack for goalscoring in the past few seasons, with the central defender always proving to be a threat on set pieces.

There was no way back for Cruz Azul after that, with Toluca’s defense standing firm against Joao Rojas, Alemão, and Xavier Baez. Meanwhile, La Máquina’s star offseason signing, Roque Santa Cruz, once again watched his team from the stands as he continues to recover from the injury he suffered back in Jornada 2.

With the 1-0 win, Toluca reaches 12 points while Cruz Azul remains on 14.

Highlights

Lineups

Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Óscar Rojas, Paulo da Silva, Jordan Silva, Carlos Gerardo Rodríguez, Carlos Esquivel, Richard Ortiz, Antonio Ríos (Lucas Lobos 75′), Édgar Benítez (Wilder Guisao 59′), Víctor Montaño (Jerónimo Amione 68′), Marco Bueno.

Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Gerardo Flores, Francisco Rodríguez, Julio César Domínguez, Fausto Pinto, Rafael Baca (Ismael Valadéz 79′), Mauro Formica (Christian Giménez 54′), Gerardo Torrado, Xavier Baez, Joao Rojas, José Carlos Toffolo. 

Atlas vs Veracruz – Jornada 8

atlas veracruzVeracruz stayed unbeaten with a 0-3 away win against Atlas, bringing the Tiburones Rojos another step closer to guaranteeing their first-division survival. Although not yet mathematically safe from relegation, Veracruz has opened up some not-inconsiderable distance between themselves and their rivals.

Atlas put out a very understrength side, with Federico Vilar, Walter Kannemann (who was suspended for this game), Luis Gerardo Venegas, Rodrigo Millar, Juan Pablo Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Medina, Luis Caballero and Keno all already in Santiago, Chile, ahead of their Copa Libertadores match against Colo Colo on Wednesday night.

Veracruz was able to take advantage of that, with Atlas unable to settle into the game or create much going forward. The Tiburones Rojos built slowly, but they were able to string together a number of chances and they opened the scoring just before halftime.

In the 40th minute, Julio César Furch played in Daniel Villalva, who got around backup goalkeeper Miguel Ángel Fraga and sent his shot into the back of the net. The visitors led, 0-1.

In the second half, Atlas tried to find an equalizer, but they were unorganized and hardly threatened Édgar Melitón Hernández in Veracruz’s goal. In the final stretch of the game, the Tiburones Rojos increased their lead through Julio César Furch, who finished off a great individual play in the 77th minute with a half-volley, and then headed home a cross from Fernando Meneses in the 88th minute to make it 0-3.

With that brace, Furch joins Puebla’s Matías Alustiza at the top of the individual goalscoring table with six goals. Furch has been responsible for a large part of Veracruz’s resurgence this season, giving the worst offense in the league new life. In the Apertura 2014 season, Veracruz scored just eight goals; to date in the Clausura, they have 13, with Furch scoring six and assisting on another two.

With the 0-3 win, Veracruz reaches 16 points while Atlas remains on 14.

Highlights

Lineups

Atlas: Miguel Ángel Fraga, Pablo Mascareñes, Rodrigo Godínez, Enrique Pérez, Carlos Arreola (Arturo González 59′), Edgar Castillo, Carlos Treviño (Christian Suárez 70′), Aldo Leao, Edy Brambila, Carlos Ochoa (Daniel Álvarez 80′), Martín Barragán. 

Veracruz: Édgar Melitón Hernández, Jesús Paganoni, Leobardo López, Leiton Jiménez, Emmanuel García, Fernando Meneses, Édgar Andrade (Jehu Chiapas 70′), Gabriel Peñalba, Daniel Villalva (Juan Ángel Albín 76′), Julio César Furch, Michel Vázquez (Luis Sánchez 40′).

León vs Santos Laguna – Jornada 8

leon santosA last-minute goal for León let the home team come from behind to defeat Santos Laguna 2-1 on Saturday night. The win puts León back on the right track after they lost their four-game unbeaten streak last weekend, while Santos has now lost two games in a row.

Santos Laguna hasn’t won away to León since La Fiera returned to the first division in 2012, and despite the visitors leading until the 84th minute, they were unable to change that statistic today.

Santos had the first good chance of the game just moments after the opening whistle, when Djaniny took the ball down the right wing and served the ball in for Javier Orozco, but the defense was able to react and prevent the shot. Then it was León’s turn, with the home team threatening through Marcos Caicedo in the 2nd minute and Miguel Sabah in the 8th.

In the end, it would be Santos who opened the scoring. In the 22nd minute, Adrián Aldrete served in a free kick and the attempted clearance hit Chema Cárdenas, which kept the ball alive in the box. Carlos Izquierdoz pounced, sending it past William Yarbrough and into the net to put Santos ahead 0-1.

Mauro Boselli could have equalized in the 27th minute, but he sent his shot miles over the bar after getting in behind the defense. Minutes later, Ignacio Canuto hit the post while he was all alone in front of goal.

León continued to string chances together, with Carlos Peña and Martín Bravo joining the list of those who couldn’t finish off their opportunities, but Santos kept the lead going into halftime.

The second half started the same way the first one had ended, with León on top, although as the half wore on William Yarbrough was called into action to keep Santos from increasing their lead.

Then, in the 84th minute, Jonathan Botinelli found the equalizer, finishing off a corner kick served in by Elías Hernández to make it 1-1. The late equalizer stunned Santos, and they were unable to react to it. León would complete the comeback in stoppage time, when José Juan Vázquez ran on to a pass from Marcos Caicedo and sent his shot into the upper corner to give La Fiera the 2-1 lead.

With the 2-1 win, León reaches 11 points while Santos remains on 10.

Highlights

Lineups

León: William Yarbrough, José María Cárdenas (Luis Montes 58′), Ignacio Canuto, Jonathan Bottinelli, Marcos Caicedo, José Juan Vázquez, Carlos Peña, Elías Hernández, Juan Ignacio González, Martín Bravo (Gonzalo Ríos 62′), Miguel Sabah (Mauro Boselli 75′).

Santos: Agustín Marchesín, José Javier Abella, Oswaldo Alanís, Carlos Izquierdoz, Adrián Aldrete, Andrés Rentería (Edson Rivera 85′), Jesús Molina, Diego Hernán González, Rodolfo Salinas, Djaniny Tavares (Luis Mendoza 76′), Javier Orozco (Alonso Escoboza 54′).

Tigres UANL vs Pumas UNAM – Jornada 8

tigres pumas1Tigres UANL’s slumbering offense came to life in this one, as the home team triumphed in the battle of the feline universitarios by the score of 3-0. Pumas UNAM will be in full-on panic mode now, as this was their fourth consecutive league loss.

Tigres, who scored more than one goal in league play for the first time in 13 games, were undoubtedly helped by playing up a man for 70 minutes after an early straight red to Josecarlos Van Rankin. In the 20th minute, the 21-year-old defender was sent off for a plancha or studs-up tackle on José Arturo Rivas.

Considering that Pumas have the worst defensive in the league, statistically speaking, it’s quite possible that not even playing with 11 men would have kept Tigres from scoring, but it might have resulted in a more respectable loss.

As it was, Tigres dominated the game from start to finish. Rafael Sobis opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a golazo from outside the box, giving the Brazilian his first goal in Liga MX and giving the home team the lead.

UANL would add to their lead in the 38th minute, when Darío Burbano laid the ball off for Sobis in the box; his shot was deflected by the defense, but Joffre Guerrón pounced on the loose ball to make it 2-0.

Pumas wasn’t able to mount any sort of comeback, with chances being few and far between for the visitors. The defense did manage to hold up for a long spell, but in the final minutes of the game Jesús Dueñas made it 3-0 with a shot from outside the box that hit the crossbar and bounced down into the goal.

With the 3-0 win, Tigres reach 12 points while Pumas remain on five.

Highlights

Lineups

Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Jorge Torres Nilo, José Arturo Rivas, Hugo Ayala, Israel Jiménez, Jesús Dueñas, Guido Pizarro (Egidio Arévalo 69′), Joffre Guerrón (Enrique Esqueda 77′), Hernán Darío Burbano (Édgar Gerardo Lugo 65′), Damián Álvarez, Rafael Sobis.

Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar, Darío Verón (Jonathan Ramis 27′), Gerardo Alcoba, Luis Fernando Fuentes, Josecarlos Van Rankin, Silvio Torales, David Cabrera, Javier Cortés, Ismael Sosa (Matías Britos 73′), Eduardo Herrera (Omar Islas 46′), Jesús Daniel Gallardo. 

Puebla vs Querétaro – Jornada 8

puebla queretaro2Puebla extended their winning streak to three games with a comprehensive 4-1 win against Querétaro on Saturday evening. It was a new coach but the same old story for Querétaro, who suffered their third straight loss in Víctor Manuel Vucetich’s first league game in charge of the Gallos Blancos.

Flavio Santos started the rout off for Puebla in the 20th minute. Querétaro’s goalkeeper Tiago Volpi made the initial save on a corner kick, but Santos was there to take advantage of the rebound, putting the Poblanos ahead 1-0.

Matías Alustiza increased the home team’s lead in the 34th minute with a bullet of a strike from just outside the box, and he finished off his brace on the stroke of halftime with another long distance goal to put Puebla comfortably ahead at the break.

Shortly after halftime, Emanuel “Tito” Villa was able to reduce the deficit for Querétaro, making it 3-1 in the 52nd minute. Villa was played in behind the defense by William da Silva, and he managed to score even as he was taken down by goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota.

Querétaro was unable to build on that goal, however, and Puebla quickly restored their three goal cushion. In the 56th minute, John Freddy Pajoy sent a powerful header past Volpi to make it 4-1, finishing off a series of rebounds in the box.

The win lifts Puebla to third in the table, pending the rest of this weekend’s results, and it also brings them level on points with Chivas de Guadalajara in the relegation standings, putting the pressure back on Chivas ahead of their game on Sunday. It wasn’t all good news for the home team though, as Matías Alustiza had to be helped off the field and subbed out in the 64th minute after appearing to pull a hamstring.

With the 4-1 win, Puebla reaches 14 points while Querétaro remains on five.

Highlights

Lineups

Puebla: Rodolfo Cota, Michael Orozco, Mauricio Romero (Luis Robles 23′), Facundo Erpen, Óscar Rojas, Flavio Santos, Francisco Torres, Luis Noriega, John Fredy Pajoy (Cuauhtémoc Blanco 77′), Matías Alustiza (Gerardo Espinoza 64′), Luis Gabriel Rey.

Querétaro: Tiago Volpi, George Corral, Miguel Ángel Martínez, Gil Burón, Ricardo Osorio, William da Silva (Jaime Gómez 76′), Mario Osuna, Orbelín Pineda, Ronaldinho (Édgar Pacheco 62′), Emanuel Villa, Patricio Rubio (Ángel Sepúlveda 62′).

América vs Leones Negros – Jornada 8

america leonesLeones Negros snapped a four-game losing streak with an upset away win against Club América, who finished the game with just nine men on the field.

Leones Negros, desperate to end a four-game losing streak and get back on firmer ground in the relegation standings, came out determined to get a positive result. The Universidad de Guadalajara side refused to be overawed by playing in the Estadio Azteca and with Fidel Martínez back from suspension, they strung together a number of dangerous goalscoring chances in the first half.

There was early controversy when Martínez, one-on-one with goalkeeper Moises Muñoz, went down in the box. There was clear contact between Martínez and Muñoz, but rather than calling the penalty kick that Leones were screaming for, referee Luis Enrique Santander controversially booked Martínez for diving.

Nevertheless, Leones Negros were able to open the scoring. In the 32nd minute, Luis Fernando Télles sent a powerful shot from outside the box into the back of the net, giving the visitors a hugely valuable 0-1 lead.

América had a chance or two to tie it up before halftime, but they were unable to capitalize. Darío Benedetto was a little too unselfish with one of his chances, when he was in on goal but chose to pass rather than shoot, allowing the defense to recover and clear the ball.

América was unable to find their goalscoring touch in the second half either, with Benedetto, Oribe Peralta, and Carlos Darwin Quintero missing every chance that came their way. The game got out of hand for the Águilas in the final ten minutes, when first Pablo Aguilar and then José Daniel Guerrero were sent off, the former for a hard tackle on Jonathan González and the latter for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Down to nine men, there was no way back for América, who lost at home for the first time this season. The win wasn’t enough to move Leones Negros out of last place in the relegation standings, but it puts them in a much better position going forward.

With the 0-1 win, Leones Negros reach seven points while América remains on 14.

Highlights

Lineups

América: Moisés Muñoz, Paul Aguilar, Paolo Goltz, Pablo Aguilar, Ventura Alvarado, Carlos Darwin Quintero (Cristian Pellerano 80′), Osvaldo Martínez (Carlos Rosel 65′), José David Guerrero, Rubens Sambueza, Oribe Peralta, Darío Benedetto (Martín Zúñiga 73′).

Leones Negros: Humberto Hernández, Marcelo Alatorre, Leandro Cufré (Francisco León 69′), Félix Araujo, Jairo González, Marc Crosas, Luis Fernando Télles, Jonathan González, Misael Vázquez (Rodolfo Vilchis 70′), Jorge Hernández, Fidel Martínez (Jahir Barraza 91′).

Tijuana vs Pachuca – Jornada 8

tijuana pachucaTijuana rebounded from a two-goal deficit to defeat 10-man Pachuca 3-2 on Friday night. With the win, the Xolos remain perfect at home this season while extending their league unbeaten streak to seven games.

That unbeaten streak looked to be in danger early on, as Pachuca started the game off brightly, dominating possession and creating dangerous goalscoring chances. Ariel Nahuelpán, starting for the first time since Jornada 2, was heavily involved in the game and he added another dimension to the Tuzos’ attack.

An offside flag stopped the visitors from taking the lead in the 8th minute, but it would prove to be just a brief respite for Tijuana. In the 11th minute, Pachuca went ahead when Diego de Buen bundled home a corner kick in unorthodox but effective fashion.

Pachuca kept the pressure up throughout the first half, with Tijuana limited to just one or two chances. The Tuzos would increase their lead in the 36th minute, although Rodolfo Pizarro’s goal was scored from an offside position. The flag stayed down, though, and the goal counted, giving Pachuca the 0-2 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, Tijuana reduced the deficit with a beautiful free kick from Juan Arango in the 56th minute. Back to within striking distance, the Xolos began to press forward in earnest.

Moments later, the complexion of the game changed even further with the expulsion of Pachuca captain Aquivaldo Mosquera. The central defender, who had picked up a yellow card in the 36th minute, was given a second yellow and the subsequent red after referee Erim Ramírez controversially called a handball in the 57th minute. The ball looked to have hit Mosquera’s leg or hip before rolling down to his arm, but Ramírez was unmoved by the defender’s protestations to that effect.

With the numerical advantage, the Xolos began to dominate the run of play. First, Dayro Moreno missed from within the six-yard box in a situation where it would have been easier to score than to miss. Then, in the 71st minute, they had the ball in the back of the net, only for the would-be tying goal to be correctly disallowed for offside.

The highest-scoring team in Liga MX could not be denied forever, though, and Arango tied the game with his second goal of the night in the 83rd minute. The Xolos would complete the comeback in stoppage time, when Dayro Moreno beat the offside trap to make it 3-2 in the 91st minute. The win guarantees that Tijuana will finish the week in first place in the table, regardless of the rest of this weekend’s results.

With the 3-2 win, Tijuana reaches 19 points while Pachuca remains on 10.

Highlights

Lineups

Tijuana: Cirilo Saucedo, Jesús Chávez, Juan Carlos Núñez, Javier Gandolfi, Greg Garza (Joe Corona 40′), Richard Ruiz, Juan Arango, Javier Güemez (José Ayoví 69′), Gabriel Hauche, Dayro Moreno, Ricardo de Jesús (Alfredo Moreno 62′).

Pachuca: Óscar Pérez, Rodrigo Salinas, Heriberto Aguayo, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Heriberto Olvera, Rodolfo Pizarro, Junior Sornoza (Miguel Herrera 59′), Diego de Buen (Erick Gutiérrez, Jürgen Damm, Cristian Penilla (Hirving Lozano 72′), Ariel Nahuelpán.