Here your five conclusions from the fourteenth week of play in the 2018 Liga MX Clausura.
Pachuca thump Puebla 6-2
Sebastian Palacios put in a brilliant display, scoring four goals, that set the tone for Pachuca as the Tuzos thumped Puebla 6-2 on Friday. There have been glimmers, but Pachuca never looked close to putting up a performance of this kind. Even Keisuke Honda got into the action, scoring a brace of his own. The win was one thing, but the three points now mean Pachuca are eighth in the league table and firmly in the race for a place in the Liguilla.
Raul Ruidiaz near his best form
Raul Ruidiaz could be coming into form just at the right time for Monarcas Morelia. On Saturday, Ruidiaz netted a hat-trick to help the Purepechas earn 3-2 win over Club Leon. With the Liguilla just a month away and Morelia a likely candidate, there is no better time for the streaky Ruidiaz to start scoring goals. Ruidiaz looked active, and with past injuries out of the way, he could be primed for a stellar month of April. It is hard to believe that when the Peruvian international first arrived to Liga MX, nobody expected him to be this good. Now, everybody is wondering why he isn’t playing for a bigger team.
Worries for Club América ahead of TFC
Club América were in brilliant form a few weeks ago, but increasingly, the latest results are providing evidence that they are in a bit of a slump. On Saturday, las Águilas came within ten minutes of getting all three points from their visit to Necaxa, but a Brayan Beckeles strike from a corner earned the Rayos a late point.
Particularly on the defensive side, América have looked short on quality. Miguel Herrera’s men have been shaky on defense in recent games, and it is something unusual from las Águilas. This all comes ahead of a crucial second leg against Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League where they must overcome a 3-1 deficit to reach the final.
To make matters worse, América may have lost Cecilio Dominguez through injury. The Paraguayan international picked up a knock after scoring America’s only goal, and his absence would be a big blow to las Águilas’s chances.
Chivas fuel Veracruz revival
The last time Chivas took the field in Liga MX, the Rebaño Sagrado had earned a 2-1 win over Monarcas Morelia to get back into the Liguilla race. On Saturday, Veracruz smacked Chivas’s Liguilla hopes out of their hand as the Tiburones Rojos earned a vital 1-0 win at the Estadio Akron. It was an unusual game given Matias Almeyda’s decision to start a second string side full of youngsters, one of which was responsible for Veracruz’s winner. Benjamin Galindo Jr., son of the legendary Chivas defender, gifted Veracruz the breakthrough just 18 seconds in his professional debut. Of course, Almeyda’s decision to rest his starters had to do with Chivas’s midweek clash against New York Red Bulls. That was no fault of Veracruz, who are not only fighting toe to toe with Lobos BUAP to avoid relegation but they also have faint Liguilla hopes of their own.
Angel Reyna guides red-hot Toluca over Tigres
You get the impression that if Angel Reyna would have kept himself out of trouble, his career would have been an entirely different story. His off the field problems have often been a criticism of his game and have led directly to his career’s instability. Nowadays, you can find Reyna trying to make the best out of his loan to Toluca. The 33-year-old was key in the Diablos Rojos’ 1-0 win over Tigres on Sunday, scoring a beautiful right footed shot from distance.
But it is not just Reyna, the Diablos Rojos as a whole mean serious business this season. They are top of the league table and already qualified to the Liguilla. They have plenty of depth all across their lines and are becoming a serious contender to the title. Not to mention they will be taking on Necaxa on Wednesday for a chance at winning their first Copa MX Final in decades.