By DAN KARELL
With heavy hearts and a mind on the recent death of Christian “Chucho” Benitez, Club America came out firing on all cylinders in just their second match of the Apertura season.
After a moving tribute to the fallen former America star, the hosts pounced on an opportunity in the 27th minute. America goalkeeper Moises Muñoz quickly found Luis Mendoza storming down the left side, who played in teammate Narciso Mina with a great cross and finish to take the lead.
Las Aguilas doubled their lead in the 69th minute through El Tri member Raul Jimenez, finishing with the outside of his boot after a quickly taken free kick. Rubens Sambueza finished off the victory in style, curling a 30-yard free kick past Atlas goalkeeper Miguel Pinto to win the match, 3-0.
Here’s a closer look at some other Liga MX matches from Apertura Round 4:
REYNA STAYS HOT AS VERACRUZ WIN AGAIN
Angel Reyna is arguably the hottest player on this side of the Atlantic.
The Mexican forward scored two more times in a stunning 3-2 victory for Veracruz over ten-man Cruz Azul on Saturday, taking his total to a league-leading seven goals on the young Apertura season.
Jehu Chiapas scored the other goal for Veracruz in the victory, which was helped by the second-half dismissal of Israel Castro of Cruz Azul. Pablo Barrera scored the lone goal for La Maquina, who got a stoppage-time own goal from Veracruz defender Adrian Cortes.
TIGRES TAKES DOWN PUMAS
Following three successive defeats in the Copa MX and Liga MX competitions, Tigres UANL finally recorded a win, taking a 2-0 victory over the struggling Pumas UNAM.
In his first appearance since the Gold Cup success this summer, Jose Torres stepped into the starting lineup and helped set up the first goal of the match in the 33rd minute, as Danilinho finished from close range off a bad mistake by Pumas goalkeeper Miguel Palacios.
Damian Alvarez gave Tigres a two-goal lead in the 59th minute with a brilliant solo effort that whizzed past Palacios and put the crowd on their feet. Pumas nearly drew one back in the 69th minute when Luis Garcia got behind the Tigres defense, but he pulled his shot just wide.
Here’s a look at the entire list of matches from Apertura Round 4 in Liga MX:
Veracruz 3, Cruz Azul 2
America 3, Atlas 0
Morelia 2, Club Tijuana 1
Santos Laguna 2, Queretaro 0
Monterrey 1, Toluca 1
Pachuca 1, Leon 1
Chiapas 4, Puebla 2
Pumas UNAM 0, Tigres UANL 2
Chivas 1, Atlante 0
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Angel Reyna – Veracruz: Reyna scored another two goals including the game-winning goal in his side’s 3-2 victory over Cruz Azul on Saturday, earning him SBI Liga MX Player of the Week honors. Reyna has scored seven goals this season.