Here are your five conclusions from the twelfth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Clausura.
Club León fight back to continue winning streak
Despite having to fight back from two goals down, Club León extended their winning streak to nine straight after beating Monarcas Morelia 3-2 on Friday.
If you haven’t received the memo, León are currently the best team in Mexico and are just one win away from equaling the record for most consecutive wins in a single Liga MX tournament. Ignacio Ambriz has transformed León since succeeding Gustavo Diaz, and with 29 points earned after 12 weeks, La Fiera have virtually already sealed a place in the Liguilla.
Club América prove their worth against Tigres
There is no hiding the fact that Club América vs. Tigres is a growing rivalry in Liga MX, which is why their match on Saturday at the Estadio Azteca was billed as one of the biggest games of the season. But what was suppose to be an even affair between two of the best teams in all of Mexico turned out to be an easy 3-0 win for Las Águilas.
Club América grab big win over Tigres https://t.co/PHGlPGqHWv— FMF State of Mind (@FMFSoM) March 31, 2019
Indeed, Tigres never seemed comfortable or convincing, and perhaps they are starting to feel the absence of star striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who has been out for several weeks now through injury. Club América, on the other hand, did enough in this game to suggest that they are once again serious contenders for the title. Even with Nico Castillo leaving the match with a knock, you get the feeling that this team has the depth to go toe-to-toe with any team in the league. Their readiness to compete, coupled with their experience from last season is why you might want to keep your money on Las Águilas.
Monterrey give up a late lead...again!
One of the biggest indictments of Monterrey through the course of the last two seasons has been their inability to keep late leads at home. Monterrey suffered another late-game collapse on Saturday as Los Rayados conceded a 91st minute goal to settle for a 2-2 draw versus Cruz Azul.
Monterrey drop more points at home as Cruz Azul score twice late in the match to get a 2-2 draw@Rayados waste an otherworldly goal from Hurtado & a rare goal from Montes as @Cruz_Azul_FC claw back from 2-0 down to grab a point#LigaMXeng https://t.co/PXr09V2euu— FMF State of Mind (@FMFSoM) March 31, 2019
If you are a habitual follower of Liga MX, you know the deal. Monterrey play well, take the lead, allow a team to get back into things, fail to put the game away, and then concede a last minute goal. Given the way Liga MX is structured, Monterrey are not harming their case as title contenders but they are definitely not doing themselves any favors. A lapse of concentration like that in the Liguilla and your season can be over. When its title or bust, that’s not something you want to have in your repertoire.
Jose Saturnino Cardozo dismissed after Pumas defeat
There was already signs that Jose Saturnino Cardozo had lost the locker room following consecutive defeats to Club América, so his firing hardly came to a surprise to anybody. On Sunday, Pumas UNAM put the last nail in Cardozo’s coffin, beating Chivas Guadalajara 2-1 at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario to give the Rebaño their fifth defeat of the season.
In truth, Cardozo had been in trouble ever since a nightmare Club World Cup performance back in December. Under Cardozo, Chivas showed some potential here and there, but ultimately, they never approached the majority of their games with a real belief that they could win. Amongst Chivas fans, his tactics had been a topic of debate in the last few weeks and it was clear that some players were just not happy under his playing system.
¿EL COLOMBIANO AL BANQUILLO DE CHIVAS? #CentralFOX ¡No es broma! Juan Carlos Osorio podría regresar a dirigir en el futbol mexicano tras su breve etapa como entrenador de la Selección Paraguaya. Vía @GusMenFox. https://t.co/TAPv6YxKz2— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) April 1, 2019
Rumor has it now that owner Jorge Vergara is looking at three possible replacements: Juan Carlos Osorio, John van ‘t Schip, and Antonio “Turco” Mohamed. All names that would make a huge splash if signed.
Puebla thrash Lobos BUAP in local derby
As far as clásicos in Mexico go, Puebla and Lobos BUAP is not one you will see in front of the newspapers very often. Is it even a clásico? That’s for you to decide.
On Sunday, Puebla continued their unlikely streak of just one defeat in their last seven league matches by defeating rivals Lobos BUAP 4-0. La Franja are experiencing something of a revival under “El Chelis” and suddenly find themselves eighth in the league standings with 19 points.
More of a motivator than a tactician, there is something about Puebla that gets the best in Chelis. He has had his best moments as a coach with La Franja and he seems to be doing well again this time around.
Surely, we can expect Puebla to be tested in the coming weeks, but at this point and time, La Franja and Chelis have nothing to lose.