Monarcas Morelia earned a comfortable away win on Thursday night as they beat 10-man Atlas 1-3. The result gives the michoacanos their first win of the Clausura 2020, while the Rojinegros have now lost three of their last four.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, but Morelia was able to grab the lead in the 36th minute. From a corner kick, Aldo Rocha knocked the ball back into the center, where Fernando Aristeguita sent a bicycle kick towards goal for José Cortes got an unconventional final touch with his stomach to make it 0-1.
Atlas vociferously protested that there had been a handball in the sequence, but the referee waved them away and the goal stood.
The hosts regrouped at halftime and started the second half with a much more attacking posture – which immediately paid dividends. In the 47th minute, Sebastián Sosa tried to play out of the back with Gonzalo Jara, but Atlas’s pressure led to Luciano Acosta winning the ball at the top of the box. He crossed it in to Javier Correa, who had an easy finish in an empty net to make it 1-1.
Then, in the 66th minute, the hosts had the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, after VAR review led Fernando Guerrero to call Miguel Ángel Sansores for a handball in the box. Ignacio Jeraldino stepped up to take the penalty, and Sosa saved it to keep the game tied 1-1.
That sequence tilted the momentum in Morelia’s favor, as the visitors were re-energized and the hosts disheartened. Soon after, Morelia retook the lead, with Atlas once again unable to clear away a corner kick. Gabriel Achilier applied the final touch with a diving header that went in off the legs of defender Jesús Isijara to make it 1-2 for the Monarquía in the 72nd minute.
The night continued to get worse for Atlas as they went down to 10 men in the 84th minute after VAR review led to the expulsion of Jairo Torres for a studs-up tackle.
Then, in the 89th minute, Aristeguieta put the exclamation mark on Morelia’s victory as he slid to knock in a cross from Jorge Valdivia to make it 1-3.
With the 1-3 win, Morelia reaches four points while Atlas still has six.