Veracruz came from behind to earn a crucial 3-1 victory against Atlas in this relegation six-pointer. The Tiburones Rojos narrowed the gap in the relegation standings to eight points as they earned their first home win of the season, while the result is a sixth straight away loss for the Rojinegros, who have failed to earn a single point on the road in the Clausura 2018.
With both teams very aware of the relegation implications of this game, it was no surprise that it started at a very high intensity. Atlas came out attacking and grabbed the lead in just the 6th minute, when Milton Caraglio headed the visitors in front.
Veracruz responded well to falling behind, however, and just three minutes later they leveled the match. In the 9th minute, Adrián Luna found Michael Murillo, who made it 1-1.
The Tiburones completed the comeback in the 15th minute, when Miguel Ángel Fraga gave up a bad rebound. Luna pounced on the loose ball and slid it into the empty net to put Veracruz ahead 2-1.
The game was then stopped just past the half-hour mark due to an electrical outage; the start of the second half was delayed as well when the lights went out again.
The interruptions didn’t seem to hurt Veracruz any, and they kept pressing for an insurance goal. Murillo had a chance at a second, but Fraga made the save.
As time wound down, Atlas threw numbers forward in search of an equalizer. They came close in the 77th minute when Clifford Aboagye hit the woodwork, but they couldn’t get any closer than that.
Then, in stoppage time, Veracruz struck on the counterattack to put the game out of reach, with substitute Cristian Menéndez getting behind the defense, rounding the goalkeeper, and making it 3-1.
With the 3-1 win, Veracruz reaches 12 points while Atlas still has seven.
Veracruz: Édgar Melitón Hernández, Guido Milán, Osmar Mares, Richard Ruiz, José Rivas, Luis Martínez, Carlos Esquivel, Adrián Luna (Cristian Menéndez 77′), Wilder Cartagena (Édgar Andrade 60′), Miguel Ángel Murillo, Daniel Villalva (Jesús Lara 83′).
Atlas: Miguel Ángel Fraga, Jaine Barreiro, Leiton Jiménez, Rafael Márquez (Edyairth Ortega 69′), Daniel Arreola, Luis Reyes (Ángelo Henríquez 58′), Bryan Garnica (Ravel Morrison 79′), Luis Robles, Juan Pablo Vigón, Milton Caraglio, Clifford Aboagye.