What happened to the goals? That was the big question on most people's minds following the scarcity of scoring during Round 11 in Mexico. Of the nine matches played this weekend, only one (San Luis vs. Puebla) saw more than two total goals scored. Five of the weekend's matches featured just one goal or less. Despite this overall lack of scoring, there were still a few performances worth rewarding from Round 11 in the Mexican Primera.
Morelia 0-2 Estudiantes
It wasn't an easy decision to pick the best game this week, because let’s just say it -- this wasn’t the best week for exciting games. If forced to choose, though, the award has to go to the match played at Estadio Morelos between Morelia and Estudiantes Tecos. On paper, this didn't look to be a likely candidate for a "best of the week" game, but an exiting second half pushed it over the top. Estudiantes traveled to Morelia and grabbed three valuable points to help improve both their position in the league table, and their percentage in the fight against relegation. With goals from "Cheto" Leaño and Eduardo Lillingston, Estudiantes built a lead in the second half and held on. Morelia pushed forward in an attempt at the comeback, but could never break through. Estudiantes manager Raul Arias, an expert in defensive strategy, controlled the Morelia attack with a well organized backline and preserved the 0-2 scoreline until the final whistle.
Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna)
Oribe Peralta provided the only goal of the game in a crucial match-up between Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul on Saturday. Peralta's goal gave his team the victory over a strong Cruz Azul side that controlled the game but failed to score against Oswaldo Sanchez and the Santos defense. Peralta now reaches six goals on the season, tying him with Hector Mancilla for 5th place in the league scoring race. Not only is Peralta near the top of the goal-scoring table, but he is also the only Mexican forward on the top-ten scoring list this season.
Morelia 0-2 Estudiantes
WIth only thirteen goals in nine matches, no particular game or result stood out as much as the overall lack of scoring this week. But if any result raised eyebrows, it was the Estudiantes shutout win over Morelia at Estadio Morelos. The victory means Estudiantes becomes the team with the best record away from home -- four wins and only two losses -- adding up to 11 points on the road this season. The win also moves them up five spots in the league table to 9th place. With 15 points, Estudiantes is now only 5 points away from first place Pumas.
Team on the Rise
Los Gallos Blancos have stepped up their game in recent weeks, as the players continue to respond well to manager Jose Saturnino Cardozo. Cardozo took over as head coach of Queretaro prior to week six, following the controversial dismissal of Gustavo Matosas. Cardozo debuted with a 1-2 loss against Jaguares, but since then things have continually improved. During the past month Queretaro has beaten quality teams like Pumas (4-0), Monterrey (2-1), and this week Chivas at Estadio Jalisco (1-0). A team that defends exceptionally well, Queretaro has finally begun to add valuable scoring this season. Leading the way up front for the Gallos Blancos is the league's leading goal scorer -- the Uruguayan Carlos Bueno, who has netted eight goals during the Apertura season.
Alfredo Moreno (San Luis 2-1 Puebla)
Even with the lack of goals this week, there was still one that clearly stood out above the rest. San Luis striker Alfredo Moreno gave us the best goal of the round with his blast against Puebla after coming on as a second-half sub. Moving the ball forward early in the second period, San Luis finds Moreno, who receives the ball near the top of the box. Moreno makes a quick move towards his right leaving Roberto Carlos Juarez completely off balance. With the opening, Moreno then flicks a perfect shot over Puebla goalkeeper Alexandro Alvarez from outside the penalty area. The brilliant goal from Moreno evened the scoreline for San Luis, who went on to win 2-1 over Puebla. (See Alfredo Moreno’s goal 15 seconds into the video below.)
Top 5 Teams following Round 11
1. Pumas UNAM – 20 points
2. Jaguares – 19 points
3. Tigres UANL – 18 points
4. Cruz Azul – 18 points
5. Chivas – 18 points
Bottom 5 Teams
14. Puebla– 13 points
15. Morelia – 13 points
16. America – 10 points
17. Club Tijuana – 8 points
18. Atlas – 6 points
Top 5 Goalscorers of the Season
1. Carlos Bueno – 8 goals (Queretaro)
2. Luis Gabriel Rey – 7 goals (Jaguares)
3. Ivan Alonso – 7 goals (Toluca)
4. Christian Benitez – 7 goals (America)
5. Oribe Peralta – 6 goals (Santos)