By DAN KARELL
After some early season disappointment, Tigres UANL’s offense finally came to life in the Liga MX Apertura’s sixth round.
Tigres made a statement to the rest of the league as they crushed Morelia, 5-1, on the road, with five different players scoring for the Felinos. Coming out of halftime with the score at 1-1, Tigres exploded with four goals in the final 45 minutes to blow away their opposition.
Tigres took the lead in the ninth minute when a cross sent in from the right was deflected into his own goal by Morelia defender Luis Cardozo. Morelia hit one back in the 29th minute when David Depetris headed home. But the visitors took control of the game four minutes into the second half when Guido Pizarro fired a shot from the top of the box that was bungled by Morelia goalkeeper Felipe Rodriguez across the line.
In the 66th minute, Emanuel Villa made it 3-1 to Tigres with an open header in the box, and Hernan Burbano added his team’s fourth goal 11 minutes later on a close-range finish after a poor touch from a Morelia defender in his own area. Damian Alvarez added his team’s fifth goal for good measure in second half stoppage time, scoring one-on-one with Rodriguez to complete the rout.
Here’s a closer look at the best of the rest from Liga MX Apertura Round 6:
PACHUCA HAND ATLAS FIRST LOSS OF SEASON
Coming off a dream start to the season, Atlas fell back down to earth on Saturday evening.
The Guadalajara-based club lost their first match of the season as Pachuca midfielder Matias Alustiza single handedly gave his side all three points. Alustiza beat U.S. Men’s National Team left back Edgar Castillo on a header for Pachuca’s first goal in the 44th minute, and four minutes after halftime, Alustiza scored his second goal, dribbling through five Atlas defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and finishing the goal.
Alustiza finished off his hat-trick from the penalty spot, scoring easily as Atlas goalkeeper Federico Vilar dove the wrong way. Atlas’ Arturo Gonzalez gave his side something to return home with when he scored a goal while on the ground, scooping a shot into the roof of the net in the 78th minute.
CLUB AMERICA HELD AT CHIAPAS
Club America’s perfect record this season is over, thanks to strong defending from Chiapas.
Despite the scoreline, the match was very open and though America held the lions share of the chances, Chiapas had a few opportunities of their own. However, both sides hit shots that either fizzed wide of goal or were saved well by America goalkeeper Moises Munoz or Chiapas shot stopped Oscar Jimenez.
America came closest to scoring via the foot of playmaker Osvaldo Martinez, who’s first-time strike pinged off the bar in the 37th minute. Although they drew, America remain atop the Apertura standings with 16 points, a full three points ahead of their next challengers, Monterrey and Atlas.
BEST OF THE REST
Santos Laguna won their second in a row with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Toluca. Club Tijuana held on for a road point in a 1-1 draw at Pumas UNAM. Club Leon fell for the fourth time this season, losing to last-place Universidad de Guadalajara, 1-0.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Matias Alustiza – Pachuca: Alustiza bagged a hat-trick for Pachuca in their 3-1 victory over Atlas last Saturday. With the three goals, Alustiza moved into second place in the Liga MX goal-scoring charts, behind Dorlan Pavon who has scored seven goals this season.
Here’s a look at the full results from Apertura Round 6 in Liga MX:
Morelia 1, Tigres UANL 5
Santos Laguna 3, Toluca 0
Cruz Azul 2, Queretaro 1
Veracruz 0, Chivas de Guadalajara 0
Monterrey 1, Puebla 0
Pachuca 3, Atlas 1
Chiapas 0, Club America 0
Pumas UNAM 1, Club Tijuana 1
Universidad de Guadalajara 1, Club Leon 0.