With a bunch of Round 4 games still to be played from today until Monday, Mazatlán FC have awoken today tied for 1st overall along with three other teams. This thanks to their second victory of the season last night against a fading Pachuca squad who can’t seem to find their way as of yet. By the way, they’ve now won half of the games they won during all of last season. The purple and black now find themselves atop the league table with 7 points, but more importantly, looking better on the pitch after every match.
During the first 65-70 minutes of the match, it was all Mazatlán. Pachuca were held to all but nothing. Despite having ball possession and approaching Vikonis’ goal on several occasions, most of Paulo Pezzolano’s team plays either drowned out on a bad pass or shot, or were simply stopped by a defender. Mazatlán, on the other hand, had the more clear and dangerous opportunities. Led by an increasing chemistry between strikers Sanvezzo and Aristeguieta, the home side’s goal (as well as the match’s only goal), came on a nice cutback by Sanvezzo, ending in a good attempt that was deflected to the left side by keeper Ustari, only to find the presence of Aristeguieta, who crossed a powerful right foot shot past Ustari that found the back of the net quickly.
The final 25 minutes of the match were then dominated by Pachuca, thanks to Mazatlán conceding the ball and game initiative to the visitors. They created multiple opportunities, but none effective enough to ultimately even things up. And just like that, the home side secured their 1-0 victory.
But, what does this constant betterment in play and results that began at the end of last season all have in common? Two words: Tomás Boy. The Mexican head coach was hired in place of Paco Palencia after 13 ghastly performances by the Mazatlecos last season. They were poised to finish last in the league table and prime contenders for the relegation spot. Two wins in their final four matches including a 5-0 stomping on the road against Atlético San Luis quickly gave this club the confidence they so urgently needed and finished the season 14th overall; much better than being dead last. Not to mention, they’ve picked up right where they left off last season.
Boy has given this team a much more dynamic look, with his most important accomplishment the fact that he’s revived Sanvezzo and has made his partnership with Aristeguieta up front a cause for concern for rivals. They’ve proven their ability to create danger, especially at home, with their only hiccup of the season thus far being their visit to CU in Round 2. But the fact that Boy has managed to take this relegation-destined team not more than three months ago and turn it into a winning team and thus far a top-half table squad speaks volumes on the impact he’s had. We’ve seen what he’s capable of accomplishing looking back to his Morelia days about a decade ago. He’ll look to replicate those winning ways now with this new version of that same franchise.