Liga MX

2019 Liga MX Apertura Week 2 recap

In 1994, The Rollins Band released Weight. It’s a searing album that mixes the formless freedom of jazz, the sludge rock sound of the early 1990’s, and Rollins’ trademark growl. On “Shine”, the final track on Weight, Rollins barks out the following lines:

“No such thing as spare time. No such thing as free time. No such thing as down time. All you got is life time. Go.”

It’s always difficult when one of the greats retires, but it’s always inevitable. Everything is impermanent. Everything ends at some point. Óscar “El Conejo” Pérez started his career in 1993, and the clock was ticking ever since. For those of us of a certain age, it’s difficult to remember back to a world before Conejo Pérez. For those of you younger than I, it may be impossible.

Pérez was a fixture with Cruz Azul and the Mexican National Team, but was also beloved by fans during his other stops along the way. Anyone who can play into their forties has put in the kind of work that is often unseen by the general public, not wasting a second working at something that was always destined to end at some point. If anyone deserves to retire and enjoy the rest of his days, it’s El Conejo. With any luck, you and I will reach that point in our lives too.

Until then, all you got is life time. Go.

Morelia 0, Atlas 1: Atlas continues to show improvement, going on the road to defeat Monarcas Morelia 1-0. Monarcas started out looking decent, and Atlas to their credit was able to stay in it.They would finally break through in the 73rd minute when Jesús Isijara was left unmarked and made a run into the box, hitting a floated cross by Osvaldo Martínez from the end line past goalkeeper Sebastián Sosa. Monarcas had a grand opportunity to salvage the draw in the 81st minute when Gastón Lezcano was tripped in the box by Jesús Angulo. Lucas Villafañez took a penalty but it was well saved by goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.

Veracruz 3, Pachuca 3: A barnburner at Pirata Fuente as Veracruz and Pachuca duke it out in a 3-3 draw. Franco Jara started the scoring in the 8th minute when he hit a hard shot from the left side of the pitch past Sebastián Jurado. Veracruz would equalize in the 14th minute when Iván Santillán poked the ball past goalkeeper Rodrigo Rey in a quick passing sequence that was best described as Barcelona-esque. Colin Kazim-Richards would give Los Tiburones Rojos the lead in the 37th minute when he was able to fight off a defender, chest down the ball, turn, and fire past Rey. After the half, Víctor Guzmán hit a shot from distance that snuck past Rey in the 51st and Jonathan Copete hit a tight-angle shot in the 60th to put Pachuca up. Diego “Puma” Chávez would be the hero for Veracrus though when he got his head on a corner kick in the 68th minute to salvage the draw for Los Tiburones Rojos.

León 0, América 0: A nervy match between two of the better teams in the league. Both teams had good chances but failed to capitalize on them. Both Rodolfo Cota an Agustín Marchesín had solid games, but the talking point may be around the two decisions assisted by VAR. In the 70th minute, VAR overturned a penalty which had been awarded to América when Roger Martínez was taken down in the box by Andrés Mosquera. Then in the 80th VAR was used to overturn a yellow card, with Fernando Navarro being shown a red card for his tackle on Jorge Sánchez.

Cruz Azul 1, Toluca 1: An emotional night at Estadio Azteca as Óscar Pérez said goodbye to the game. Cruz Azul took  the lead in the 47th minute on a Jonathan Rodríguez goal. Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera came off of his line to punch out a corner kick, but the ball fell right to Cabecita‘s feet, and he teed one up that the out or position Tala could not reach. It looked like La Maquina were going to give Conejo the send-off he deserved, but in the dying moments of the game Anibal Chala hit a hopeful cross that Alexis Canelo missed or dummied but made it to Alan Medina, who beat the out of position Jesús Corona .

Tijuana 1, Querétaro 1: A fantastic start by Xolos undone by a foul in the box. Tijuana came out with guns blazing against Los Gallos Blancos. playing some of the best soccer they’ve played in recent memory in the first half. Xolos were smart and aggressive in the attack, and were rewarded in the 37th minute when Washington Camacho was able to capitalize on a mistake by goalkeeper Gil Alcalá. Xolos could have been up by a couple of goals going into the half, and that they weren’t would come back to haunt them. In the 52nd minute, Diego Braghieri lowered his shoulder and ran into the back of Querétaro forward Aké Loba. Loba went down, and VAR confirmed that it was a penalty. Jordan Sierra converted the penalty, and the teams would end the night in a draw.

UNAM Pumas 2, Necaxa 0: A convincing win by Pumas in CU. Juan Pablo Vigon hit a stunning header in the ninth minute to give Pumas the lead, and Pablo Barrientos would convert a penalty in the 70th minute. Pumas ends the week as one of three teams who have won both of their first two games.

Atlético San Luis 1, Monterrey 0: Atlético San Luis won their first game in Liga MX, downing Monterrey 1-0 in San Luis Potosí. Matías Catalán’s free kick in the 17th minute hit Marcelo Barvero’s hands but the shot was hard enough to keep going in. Rayados fans are starting to ask hard questions about the future of the club, with Monterrey sitting near the bottom of the table with no points.

Santos Laguna 3, Juárez 0: Despite having a goal waved off for being offside and one waved off by VAR, Santos still managed to beat Juárez 3-0. Erick Castillo’s goal in the 13th minute was ruled offside, and Gerardo Arteaga’s goal in the 37th was stricken from the record when VAR judged Brian Lozano had committed a foul en route to the goal. Lozano’s goal in the 51st would stick though, his second in as many games for Santos. Lozano capped a wonderful move that saw Adrián Lozano (no relation) hit a pass out to Fernando Gorriarán, who hit it back against the grain to Brian Lozano, who hit it past goalkeeper Edmundo Vázquez Mellado. Emilio Orrantía would double the lead ten minutes later when he got free in the box and hit a tight angle shot past Vázquez Mellado. Adrián Lozano would get his first goal in just his second game in Liga MX in the 68th when he hit a rocket from the top of the box.

Guadalajara 2, Tigres UANL 0: Another surprising result as Chivas beats Tigres, holding the defending champions scoreless. Antonio Briseño put Chivas up in the eighth minute when he got his head on a corner kick that caught goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán going the wrong way. Alan Pulido would convert a penalty deep in stoppage time to put the game out of reach. The talking point of the game however was Tigres forward André-Pierre Gignac and Tomás Boy’s war of words, with both men claiming to be the best player in Tigres’ history. Boy was shown a red card during the match, and after the game Gignac went toward the Chivas locker room looking for Boy, finally being lead back to the Tigres locker room by officials from both Tigres and the Mexican Federation.

Bye week: Puebla (0W 0D 1L)

Next week:

Friday, August 2:

Puebla (0W 0D 1L) vs. Guadalajara (1W 0D 1L)

Atlas (2W 0D 0L) vs. Santos Laguna (2W 0D 0L)

Saturday, August 3:

Querétaro (1W 1D 0L) vs. Cruz Azul (0W 2D 0L)

Club América (1W 1D 0L) vs. Tijuana (1W 1D 0L)

Pachuca (0W 1D 1L) vs. Morelia (0W 0D 2L)

Monterrey (0W 0D 2L) vs. León (1W 1D 0L)

Necaxa (0W 1D 1L) vs. Veracruz (0W 1D 0L)

Sunday, August 4:

UNAM Pumas (2W 0D 0L) vs. Tigres UANL (1W 0D 1L)

Juárez (0W 0D 2L) vs. Toluca (0W 1D 1L)

Bye week: Atlético San Luis (1W 0D 1L)



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