By DAN KARELL
There’s a new leader in Liga MX.
After ten rounds, no team is undefeated, as Club America suffered their first loss of the season to Santos Laguna on Friday evening. The result allowed Morelia to leap-frog the Mexico City club into first place, following a 1-0 victory against floundering Pumas UNAM.
Veteran Chilean striker Hector Mancilla scored the decisive game-winner for Monarcas in the 65th minute, but despite moving to the top of the table, Morelia suffered the loss of star winger Jefferson Montero at halftime. Montero was taken to the hospital following the injury with a suspected serious ankle problem, but according to Morelia head coach, Carlos Buscas, Montero didn’t suffer a fracture.
Meanwhile, Pumas join Atlas and Atlante as three sides who have yet to win a match this Apertura season.
Here’s a closer look at the best of Liga MX from Apertura round ten:
SANTOS LAGUNA EARN COMEBACK VICTORY VS. AMERICA
Santos Laguna picked a perfect time to break out of a three-game winless skid.
The Torreon-based club took down Club America on Friday evening at home, 2-1, with Oribe Peralta and Mauro Cejas scoring in the comeback victory against the Clausura champions.
Raul Jimenez gave the visitors a lead in the 15th minute, scoring his fifth goal of the Apertura season. Jimenez ran onto a through ball, out-muscled Santos defender Cesar Ibañez, and then send a fine finish past former Mexican international Osvaldo Sanchez for the goal.
Peralta started the comeback effort in the second half with his goal five minutes after the break. A shot by Cejas was parried towards Peralta, and the Mexican international stretched every sinew in his body to slide and reach the ball first, sending it across the line. Cejas then followed up with a goal of his own in the 61st minute with a knuckling long-range strike to put the hosts up 2-1.
Before Friday, the last time Las Aguilas had suffered a defeat was way back on May 23 in the Clausura finals first leg to Cruz Azul.
XOLOS SETTLE FOR DRAW WITH CHIVAS
Club Tijuana were only minutes from securing a crucial road victory to keep them in Apertura playoff contention, but a late Marco Fabian goal ruined those hopes.
Chivas took an early lead in the 14th minute when defender Hector Reynoso scored off a corner kick, but Xolos hit back with two goals, one on either side of halftime. In the 31st mintue, Aldo Polo was put through on goal and finished with a delightful chip, while in the 60th minute, a long ball to the far post was banged in by talismanic forward Fidel Martinez to give the visitors the lead.
However, Fabian saved Chivas’ blushes when he scored arguably the Goal of the Week in the 82nd minute, a powerful long-range free kick that Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo was unable to parry away.
Here’s a look at the entire list of matches from Apertura Round 10 in Liga MX:
Queretaro 1, Atlante 0
Santos Laguna 2, America 1
Veracruz 0, Club Leon 1
Cruz Azul 0, Tigres UANL 1
Monterrey 1, Pachuca 0
Chiapas 3, Atlas 0
Puebla 1, Toluca 1
Pumas UNAM 0, Morelia 1
Chivas 2, Club Tijuana 2
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Mauro Cejas – Santos Laguna: The Argentine midfielder helped pull the Guerreros from down 1-0 to up 2-1 against league leading Club America on Friday night. His first shot ended up in the goal via the foot of Oribe Peralta, and his second shot showed his class, with a long-range blast.