The happiest time of the year for me is the start of the Liga MX Apertura and Clausura. It’s always cool seeing how the teams have changed since the last tournament on the field and off. Everyone starts with a clean slate to either write beautiful poetry or angsty screeds, tales of hope and exuberance or woe and lamentation.
This season, everyone but Veracruz has written the first chapter in their book. Some of these chapters should fill their fans full of hope while others should settle in for a long slog. Not every book can be Their Eyes Were Watching God, sometimes you have to trudge on through As I Lay Dying to pass the class.
Puebla 1, Tijuana 3: A good start for Xolos, going on the road and coming back from a goal down to beat Puebla. Newcomers Washington Camacho and Ángel Sepúlveda scored for Tijuana as did Ariel Nahuelpán, while it was Christian Tabó getting the hosts’ only goal of the evening. Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud made his 100th appearance for the club in the victory.
— Xolos (@Xolos) July 20, 2019
Atlas 1, Juárez 0: After a 45 minute delay due to a waterlogged pitch at Estadio Jalisco, it was a bit of a bizarre affair. Before the start of the second half, Atlas goalkeeper Camilo Vargas was shown a yellow card for digging up part of the turf in front of his goal with his cleats. Edgar Hernández would score in the 49th when he headed in a corner kick past Juárez goalkeeper Edmundo Vázquez Mellado to give Atlas their first win of the season.
— Atlas FC (@atlasfc) July 22, 2019
Atlético San Luis 0, UNAM Pumas 2: An inauspicious start by Atlético San Luis, losing their first match in Liga MX 2-0 to Pumas. Neither side looked particularly good, although Atleti had a couple of good chances in the first half and Pumas had a possible penalty overturned by VAR in the 57th minute. Pumas would break through however in the 79th minute when Carlos González chested down a ball in the box, fought off a defender, and poked the ball past goalkeeper Carlos Rodríguez. Pumas would get an insurance goal in the 88th minute when a poorly marked Luis Quintana got his head on a corner kick.
— LIGA BBVA MX (@LigaBBVAMX) July 20, 2019
Pachuca 1, León 3: León picked up right where they left off, downing Pachuca 3-1. It wasn’t even ever that close, as León had a goal annulled because it was ruled offside and another where a foul was committed in the box. León got their first that counted in the 13th minute when Ismael Sosa after some sloppy defending. In the 35th minute, Oscar Murillo hauled down Ramiro González in the box and after a VAR review, José Juan Macías converted the penalty. Pachuca thought they had a penalty of their own in the 58th minute when Franco Jara went down in the box, but upon VAR review the contact was judged to be incidental. Tuzos would be awarded a penalty in the 79th and Jara would convert to draw the hosts to within one, but in the 88th minute Luis “Chapito” Montes hit a through ball to an unmarked Leonardo Ramos and Ramos tacked on the insurance goal.
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) July 20, 2019
América 4, Monterrey 2: A barnburner at the Azteca as América outlasts Monterrey. Rogelio Funes Mori got the scoring started in the seventh minute when América goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín’s clearance was intercepted, cycled back up to Dorlan Pabón, and flicked on to Funes Mori who took a touch and ripped it past Marchesín. The lead was short lived however, when in the 15th minute a controversial penalty was awarded to América and Nicolás Castillo buried it past Marcelo Barovero. In the 18th minute, an unmarked Renato Ibarra found himself in the box with the ball at his feet. He scooped a pass into the air to his left and Matheus Uribe caught Barovero wrong-footed with the header to give Las Águilas the lead. Avilés Hurtado would equalize for Rayados in the 30th minute when Stefan Medina hit a perfect through ball to an unmarked Hurtado, who headed the ball past Marche. In the 48th, Ibarra would again float a cross into the box and this time it would be a completely unmarked Nico Castillo heading the ball home to give América the lead – this time for good. In the 76th, Ibarra would this time hit a shot directly at Barovero, who parried the ball wide. Roger Martínez came up with it and shot between the defender’s legs and past Barovero to give the hosts the 4-2 win.
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) July 21, 2019
Tigres UANL 4, Monarcas 2: Tigres survives a bit of a scare, fighting off a late charge from Monarcas Morelia. Luis “Chaka” Rodríguez got the scoring started in the 19th minute when he played a great give-and-go with Luis Quiñones to slip past the defense and hammer home a ball past Sebastián Sosa. Rafael Carioca would double the lead in the 27th when Quiñones made a fantastic run down the right before finding Carioca with a square ball. Carioca took a touch and fired past Sosa. In the 34th, Javier Aquino would extend Tigres’ lead to three when Quiñones made another great run down the right and floated a cross into the box that Aquino headed in past Sosa. Morelia would pull one back immediately after the start of the second half when Fernando Aristeguieta made a run down the left, passed it to Edison Flores, who hit Luis “Quick” Mendoza in stride and Quick put it past Nahuel Guzmán. Monarcas would get within one in the 89th minute when Cándido Ramírez would make a run down the left and hit a cross that Nahuel misplayed. Gastón Lezcano was there and easily tapped the cross home to get Morelia within one. But in stoppage time Javier Aquino would rip a shot from the top of the box that that beat Sosa just before the final whistle sounded.
— Club Tigres Oficial (@TigresOficial) July 21, 2019
Necaxa 0, Cruz Azul 0: The only scoreless draw of the opening week was one of the stranger matches. In the 29th minute, a penalty was awarded and then overturned by VAR. In the 49th minute, VAR would be used to award a penalty when Necaxa’s Ventura Alvarado got tangled up with Pablo Aguilar in the box. Milton Caraglio would take the penalty but it was saved by Hugo González. Edgar Mendez put the rebound in but it was judged to have been offside by (you guessed it) VAR. In the 72nd minute, Cruz Azul’s Julio César Domínguez was shown a red card for pulling down Maximiliano Salas by his shorts. Salas would take the penalty but would miss the net well high.
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) July 21, 2019
Toluca 0, Querétaro 2: It was a relatively calm affair until the second half. In the 65th minute, Fabian Castillo got the ball on the left side, cut in toward the center, and ripped a shot from the top of the box that blew by Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera. Four minutes later it would go from bad to worse for Toluca as Rodrigo Salinas was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Castillo. In the 73rd, Los Gallos would add another Jesús Escoboza was played in and beat some poor defending to chip a shot over a prone Talavera.
Santos Laguna 3, Guadalajara 0: Not the showing Chivas was hoping to have as they look to stave off relegation. Santos looked much like the dominant Santos teams of old and should look to build off of a dominant showing. Brian Lozano got the scoring started in the 40th minute when he hit a rocket of a free kick from distance that goalkeeper Antonio “Toño” Rodríguez misjudged. Shortly after the half, center back Matheus Doría got his head on a corner kick to beat Toño. Then in the 77th minute off of a throw in, Lozano made a low cross into the box that Furch was able to redirect into the back of the net. Erick Castillo almost bagged another for Santos but Toño made a great save to knock the ball out of play.
— Club Santos EN (@ClubSantosEn) July 22, 2019
Bye week: Veracruz
Friday, July 26:
Morelia (0W 0D 1L) vs. Atlas (1W 0D 0L)
Veracruz (0W 0D 0L) vs. Pachuca (0W 0D 1L)
Saturday, July 27:
León (1W 0D 0L) vs. América (1W 0D 0L)
Cruz Azul (0W 1D 0L) vs. Toluca (0W 0D 1L)
Tijuana (1W 0D 0L) vs. Querétaro(1W 0D 0L)
Sunday, July 28:
UNAM Pumas (1W 0D 0L) vs. Necaxa (0W 1D 0L)
Atlético San Luis (0W 0D 1L) vs. Monterrey (0W 0D 1L)
Santos Laguna (1W 0D 0L) vs. Juárez (0W 0D 1L)
Guadalajara (0W 0D 1L) vs. Tigres UANL (1W 0D 0L)