Argentines Santiago Garcia and Pedro Canelo each scored a goal over the weekend, leading Toluca to a 2-0 win over Puebla and putting the club in the top spot in the Mexican league standings.
The teams were unable to get anything going in the first half of Sunday’s match, with Puebla failing to mount an attack and Toluca trying to hold the line at home.
Brazilian William Da Silva came close to scoring for Toluca in the first minutes, but he was unable to nail the goal for the Diablos, managed by Argentine Hernán Cristante.
Toluca scored 43 minutes into the match on a goal by Garcia, who redirected a corner kick. Puebla tried to counterattack in the 45th minute with a long shot that was stopped by goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
Puebla suffered a major blow when Uruguayan forward Christian Tabo was ejected in the 74th minute.
Toluca took advantage of the situation, with Canelo scoring in the 81st minute.
Toluca is undefeated in two outings and is in first place on goal differential over the Lobos BUAP and Guadalajara.
Guadalajara edges Cruz Azul, grabs share of top spot in Mexican league
Guadalajara edged Cruz Azul 1-0, moving into a tie with the Lobos BUAP for the top spot in the Mexican league’s Clausura tournament.
Guadalajara’s manager, Paraguayan Jose Cardozo, said after Saturday’s victory that his squad was off to a good start because it was hungry for wins after performing badly at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup.
“I said something that people took the wrong way and that’s that we would be dangerous because we were hurting after the Club World Cup. It’s not about the present and the results we’re getting, it’s about the previous tournament and how we deserved better things ... something was missing. This time, it’s going differently,” Cardozo said.
Communication between players and coaches has improved, and that should lead to better results on the field, the Guadalajara manager said.
“We have a group that’s united and I try to get close to them so we can grow together, we’re in the same boat and we’re after the same goal in the end, to the Chivas competing at a high level,” Cardozo said.
Guadalajara shut out Tijuana 2-0 last weekend, giving it two shutouts so far in the tournament.
“The pressure’s there and I like it, that means there are fans who believe in us. If it wasn’t that way, our job would be easy. This is just getting started and we need to keep working with humility,” Cardozo said.
Club América top Atlas 2-1 in Clausura opener
Mexican-league defending champion Club América defeated Atlas 2-1 at the start of Clausura 2019 Matchday 2 action.
Friday night’s contest at Jalisco Stadium was the first of the new championship for América, who secured a record 13th Liga MX title by winning the Apertura 2018 playoffs in December.
The first half saw goal-scoring opportunities at both ends of the field, with Atlas’ Anderson Santamaría squandering an excellent chance in the area in the fifth minute and America’s Cecilio Domínguez failing to convert at close range off a free kick in the 21st minute.
Although the pace of play slowed at the beginning of the second half, America got on the board in the 58th minute when Henry Martin Mex scored off a pass from Renato Ibarra after an error by defender Irving Zurita.
Domínguez then made the score 2-0 in the 69th minute when he raced 70 meters with the ball and scored on a shot from outside the area that left net minder Jose Hernandez flat-footed.
Atlas pulled one back as time was expiring on a powerful right-footed blast by Osvaldo Martínez.
America have moved near the top of the standings with the win and are among a group of teams that are three points behind league-leading Lobos BUAP (six points), who have a record of 2-0-0 after going on the road and defeating Veracruz 1-0 on Friday night.
Atlas (three points) have a record of 1-0-1.
Toluca’s Triverio leads in scoring
Argentine Enrique Triverio, of first-place Toluca, tops the scoring list in the Mexican Clausura tournament after two rounds of play.
The 30-year-old Triverio has scored three goals, helping Toluca take the top spot in the standings early in the tournament.
Toluca, which beat Puebla 2-0 over the weekend, is in first place in the tournament on goal differential, with six points.
The Lobos BUAP are in second place, with six points, and Guadalajara is in third place, with the same number of points.
On Triverio’s heels, with two goals each, are Argentine Rogelio Funes Mori, of Monterrey; Argentine Nicolas Sánchez, of Monterrey; Argentine Leonardo Ramos, of the Lobos BUAP; Frenchman Andre Pierre Gignac, of the Tigres UANL; and Paraguayan Osvaldo Martínez, of Atlas.