Here your five conclusions from the twelfth week of play in the 2018 Liga MX Clausura.
Cruz Azul stunned rivals Pumas UNAM by scoring a last-minute equalizer to earn a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azul on Saturday . For once, Cruz Azul, who ironically are known for giving up late goals, were on the fortunate end of a crazy ending. Although the result proved of very little benefit to the Cementeros, it was almost as if a curse was lifted at the final whistle.
Of course, sitting 14th in the league table with just 12 points is nothing to celebrate about, but considering everything Cruz Azul fans have been through in recent years (decades almost), you have to cut them some slack.
Claudio Gonzalez has dream debut for Leon
Claudio Gonzalez will take plenty from his Liga MX debut against Lobos BUAP. 25 years young, Gonzalez was a surprise inclusion on Saturday, replacing the injured Mauro Boselli in Leon’s staring lineup. Gonzalez had made very little impact in the first few minutes of the game, but eventually delivered with a second half brace. His two goals were enough help his team come from two goals down and even earn him a social media shoutout from Andre-Pierre Gignac. What were you doing when you were 25-years-old?
Pachuca and Necaxa duel it out in 1-1 draw
Inconsistency and Liga MX go hand in hand. Two teams caught up in this wave of irregularity are Pachuca and Necaxa. On Saturday, both teams met in Aguascalients for a chance to move into a top-eight position, and as you might expect from two teams who are fighting between mid-table obscurity and Liguilla relevance, the final result was a draw.
Ultimately, despite another strong showing from Japanese international Keisuke Honda, Pachuca’s finishing was their undoing. Without Hirving Lozano, Pachuca are simply not ruthless enough. Necaxa, on the other hand, have Carlos Gonzales and one of the rising starts in the league in Victor Davila. The young Chilean has scored four times this season, including Necaxa’s equalizer on Saturday. The secret is clearly out, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Davila linked to a European team during the summer.
Sambueza hands Club America first defeat
Rubens Sambueza made the best of his return to the Estadio Azteca by handing his former team their first defeat of the season. After a quick goal from Las Aguilas, Sambueza scored the equalizer and then gave the assist for Toluca’s winner, as the Diablos Rojos overtook Club America into second place in the league table.
Toluca have done their bit this season, and their win at the Azteca was not really a surprise. The early red card to Bruno Valdez helped, but you could sense Club America’s anxiety. Nobody look prepared to take responsibility of the team, and it is obvious this was an unfamiliar position for Las Aguilas to be in. Of course, the Liguilla is still some weeks away, but you have to wonder if this will be a problem going forward. Toronto FC is definitely watching attentively.
Chivas and Tigres end in scoreless stalemate
You can’t blame Chivas for lack of entertainment. The Rebaño Sagrado played to another good game on Saturday in a 0-0 draw with Tigres. It was an excellent game both on and and off the pitch. Tigres fans made it known they were gonna do their best to make this an unofficial home game, and while they didn’t succeed in taking over the Estadio Akron, the atmosphere was phenomenal from start to finish. It almost seemed like the players fed off the energy produced from both sets of fans and gave a great game in return. At the end, the result could have gone better for either team, but it showed why there is quietly a rivalry brewing between both teams.