Category Archives: Clausura 2015

Santos Laguna Wins Fifth League Title

Despite falling 3-0 in the second leg of the Gran Final, Santos Laguna was able to win the Clausura 2015 league title thanks to their 5-3 aggregate victory against Querétaro.

Santos was able to claim the trophy despite entering the Liguilla as the 8th and lowest seed. The Laguneros upset top-seeded Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals before dispatching Chivas de Guadalajara in the semis to set up their clash with Querétaro.

This is the first league title for Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha, who also led Santos to a Copa MX title in the Apertura 2014. Santos previously won the league in the Invierno 1996, Verano 2001, Clausura 2008, and Clausura 2012.

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Querétaro vs Santos Laguna – Gran Final Second Leg

queretaro santos2Quéretaro defeated Santos Laguna 3-0 in tonight’s second leg, but the Laguneros won the Gran Final on aggregate, 5-3. Santos Laguna won their 5th title as they became Clausura 2015 champions.

The Gallos Blancos looked dead and buried after the first leg, which Santos won 5-0, and the second leg looked likely to be nothing more than a formality. However, Querétaro managed to make it interesting with three first-half goals in a comeback attempt that ultimately fell short.

Santos had an early chance to add to their lead with a 2nd minute free kick that was well-saved by Tiago Volpi, but after that the first half was all Querétaro. In the 9th minute, the Gallos earned a penalty kick after Danilinho was taken down in the box. Mario Osuna stepped up and converted it to make it 1-0 for Querétaro.

Despite the huge hill left to climb, the early goal made Querétaro believe, and they quickly added a second. In the 21st minute, Yasser Corona finished off a corner kick to make it 2-0 and make the fans packed into La Corregidora start to believe that a comeback was possible.

By halftime, Querétaro had made it 3-0 and had made Santos well and truly nervous. In the 38th minute, Ángel Sepúlveda sent a low shot past Agustín Marchesín – who hadn’t given up a single goal in 430 minutes before this game – to bring the Gallos within two of tying the aggregate.

Pedro Caixinha reacted by taking out Javier Orozco – who scored four goals in the first leg – to bring on defensive midfielder Sergio Ceballos. Although the substitution initially seemed like a panicked reaction, it ended up paying off in the second half, when Santos began to retain possession and stymie Querétaro’s attack.

The Gallos were unable to keep up the goalscoring pace, and not even the insertion of Ronaldinho in the 60th minute made a difference. The Brazilian star did put the ball in the net, but he did so by interfering with Agustín Marchesín’s attempted clearance, which is an infringement. Referee Francisco Chacón correctly disallowed the would-be goal and yellow-carded the Brazilian.

Querétaro kept fighting, but the other two goals they needed would not come. Halftime had come at the right time for Santos, who were much calmer and better organized in the second 45. They nearly scored themselves, with only the crossbar denying Alonso Escoboza, but they had gotten all the goals they needed in the first leg.

In the end, despite falling 3-0 on the night, Santos Laguna lifted the trophy thanks to their 5-3 aggregate victory, while Querétaro ultimately acquitted themselves well in the first league final in their history.

Highlights

Lineups

Querétaro: Tiago Volpi, George Corral (Sinha 81′), Ricardo Osorio, Miguel Ángel Martínez, Yasser Corona, Jonathan Bornstein (Ronaldinho 60′), Danilinho, Mario Osuna, William da Silva, Ángel Sepúlveda, Emanuel Villa (Patricio Rubio 68′).

Santos: Agustín Marchesín, José Javier Abella, Carlos Izquierdoz, Néstor Araujo, Adrián Aldrete, Djaniny Tavares (Andrés Rentería 89′), Diego Hernán González, Jesús Molina, Néstor Calderón, Alonso Escoboza (Rodolfo Salinas 80′), Javier Orozco (Sergio Ceballos 41′). 

Clausura 2015 Gran Final Preview: Second Leg

Querétaro (6) vs Santos Laguna (8) – 9:30 PM – Azteca America / ESPN Deportes
First leg: Santos 5-0 Querétaro
After Santos ran rampant in the first leg, Querétaro’s hopes of winning their first league title are hanging from the slimmest of threads. The Gallos Blancos did defeat Santos Laguna 5-0 earlier this year, and they will need to repeat that feat just to send the final to overtime. However, that win came in the Copa MX group stage, when many Liga MX teams play mixed teams of starters and reserves. It’s do-or-die time for Querétaro now, though, so expect the Gallos to come out firing on all cylinders.

As for the Laguneros, all they need to do is avoid a loss by five goals in order to lift the title. Considering that they have posted shutouts in their last four consecutive Liguilla games, it seems unlikely that their defense will suddenly collapse. But if Querétaro gets an early goal, Santos might get nervous and break down further. A 5-0 Querétaro win would send the game to extra time – remember that there are no tiebreakers in the Gran Final. If Querétaro wins by six goals or more, they will lift the trophy.

Ricardo La Volpe Named as Jaguares de Chiapas Coach

Although Jaguares didn’t officially announce the departure of Sergio Bueno until May 29th, it was an open secret that the Chiapas club was in the market for a new coach. In a press release, Jaguares announced that Sergio Bueno’s contract had expired and, in the interest of both parties, “it has not been possible to renew it”. The club thanked Bueno and wished him luck in the future.

Shortly after that announcement, Ricardo La Volpe was named as the new coach for the Apertura 2015 and Clausura 2016 seasons. La Volpe has extensive experience coaching in Mexico, where he has taken charge of teams like Atlante, Chivas de Guadalajara, América, Toluca, and Monterrey, among others, as well as the national team.

Mexico vs Guatemala – Recap and Highlights

el triIn the first of three pre-Copa América friendlies, Mexico defeated Guatemala 3-0 in Chiapas, Mexico. The win is Mexico’s third in four friendlies this year, while the Guatemalan national team has now lost their last five straight.

Mexico looked the better side throughout the game, although their backline had a few shaky moments in the first half. Nevertheless, Jesús Corona was alert to the danger when the ball did get past the defenders, and Guatemala never really worried the keeper.

The opening goal arrived at the half-hour mark, when Gerardo Flores broke into the box and got a cross off for Eduardo Herrera, who scored with his right foot to give Mexico the 1-0 lead.

After that goal, the result of the game was never in doubt. Both teams went to their benches at halftime, with Guatemala making three subs and Mexico two, but the course of the game was already set.

Mexico would add to their advantage through Herrera again in the 63rd minute. The Pumas striker got around his defender and, one-on-one with the goalkeeper, sent a diagonal shot across the goal, where the ball hit the far post and rebounded in. 2-0.

Jesús Manuel Corona, “el Tecatito” – one of Mexico’s halftime changes – would add the third and final goal in the 73rd minute. Raúl Jiménez put the ball on a platter for Corona, who knocked the low cross into the net to crush Guatemala’s hopes of a comeback.

Mexico’s next Copa América warm-up will be against Peru on June 3rd.

Highlights

Lineups

Mexico: José de Jesús Corona (Édgar Melitón Hernández 46′), Gerardo Flores (Javier Aquino 66′), Julio César Domínguez, Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo (Juan Carlos Valenzuela 50′), Efraín Velarde, Juan Carlos Medina, Javier Güemez, Vicente Matías Vuoso (Marco Fabián 50′), Luis Montes (Jesús Manuel Corona 46′), Eduardo Herrera (Raúl Jiménez 66′). 

Guatemala: Ricardo Jerez, Dennis López, Wilson Lalín, Stefano Cincotta (Aslinn Enei Rodas 46′), Carlos Castrillo, José Manuel Contreras (Nelson Miranda 60′), Carlos Ruíz (Minor López 46′), Jean Márquez (Brandon Andrés de León 58′), Marvin Ávila (José Javier Longo 67′), Jorge Aparicio, Jairo Arreola (Carlos Anselmo Mejía 46′). 

Gustavo Matosas Named Coach of Atlas

After Gustavo Matosas parted ways with Club América earlier this month, it was only a matter of time before another team snapped up the Uruguayan coach. Today, Atlas announced that Matosas has signed a one-year contract.

The Rojinegros bid farewell to Tomás Boy after the expiration of his contract and Atlas’s elimination from the Liguilla about two weeks ago, leaving a vacancy in the coaching position.

Matosas has had a great deal of success in Liga MX, where he led León to the bicampeonato and won the CONCACAF Champions League with América. He noted that Atlas “seemed to me to be a very interesting project, very serious, with various players that I like a lot for the system of play that I need, so we were very quick to come to an agreement.”

Liga MX Referee Assignments: Clausura 2015 Final Second Leg

liga mxThe referee, assistant referees, and fourth official for the second leg of the Clausura 2015 Liga MX Gran Final.

Querétaro vs Santos Laguna
Referee: Francisco Chacón Gutiérrez
Assistant 1: José Luis Camargo Callado
Assistant 2: Juan Joel Rangel Maya
Fourth Official: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez

Mexico’s Starting Lineup vs Guatemala

el triTrue to form, Miguel “Piojo” Herrera has released his starting XI a day in advance. Mexico will host Guatemala on Saturday evening in Chiapas, Mexico, in an international friendly in preparation for the Copa América.

Herrera will put out his usual 5-3-2 formation, with Jesús Corona starting in goal. The five-man backline in front of Corona will consist of Julio César Domínguez, Carlos Salcedo, Efraín Velarde, Gerardo Flores, and Hugo Ayala, with the midfield trio made up of Juan Carlos Medina, Javier Güemez and Luis Montes. Up top will be Eduardo Herrera and Vicente Matías Vuoso, the first naturalized player to be called up under Miguel Herrera.

International Friendly
Saturday, May 30
Mexico vs Guatemala – 6:00 PM – Unimás / Univision Deportes / ESPNews / Online

Mexico vs Guatemala – Where to Watch

el triWith the Copa América looming, Mexico will take on Guatemala in Chiapas, Mexico, on Saturday in the first of three preparatory friendlies. The Central Americans are preparing for the Gold Cup, which will be held later this summer.

Guatemala called up a largely domestic-based team for this friendly, with just two clubs providing 15 of the 23 players. Comunicaciones, which recently won a sixth consecutive league title, sent 11 players to the national team, with runners-up Municipal providing another four. Guatemala will hope their success will translate to the international level, where the national team is mired in a four-game losing streak.

Mexico’s 23 is also largely domestic, but is not dominated by any particular team. “El Tri” has had mixed results in friendlies so far this year, starting with a pair of victories over Paraguay and Ecuador before falling to their regional rivals, the United States.

International Friendly
Saturday, May 30
Mexico vs Guatemala – 6:00 PM – Unimás / Univision Deportes / ESPNews / Online

Copa Libertadores Semifinals Set

Copa_Bridgestone_Libertadores_logoAnd then there were four. The 2015 Copa Libertadores quarterfinals have wrapped up and the final four teams will now face off for a spot in the finals.

Mexico’s Tigres UANL reached the quarterfinal round after a 2-1 aggregate victory over Emelec, and the universitarios will now face Brazil’s Internacional in the semis.

The other semifinal series will see River Plate (Argentina) and Guaraní (Paraguay) face off for a spot in the final.

There is a long break in the competition between the quarters and the semis to allow for the Copa América, with the first legs of this round not coming until mid-July.

Copa Libertadores Semifinals – First Legs
Tuesday, July 14
River Plate vs Guaraní – 8:00 PM
Wednesday, July 15
Internacional vs Tigres UANL – 9:00 PM

Copa Libertadores Semifinals – Second Legs
Tuesday, July 21
Guaraní vs River Plate – 8:00 PM
Wednesday, July 22
Tigres UANL vs Internacional – 9:00 PM