After another week of Liga MX action, some teams have begun to show what their consistent form will be this season while others are showing their lackluster form. Most of the league still finds itself in the middle of the pack, just searching for that little pep to put a spring in their step.
Dorados show lack of fight in yet another loss
When you have expectations and find yourself in the quarterfinals of your region's continental tournament, starting out by losing two straight games isn’t the best way to start the season. That’s exactly where Queretaro found themselves when they hosted Dorados. Luckily for them, one of the best ways to get back into gear is to play the worst team in the whole league. Queretaro ran through Dorados and picked up an easy 3-0 win for their first points of the season. This could be the kickstart they need before CONCACAF Champions League play. On the contrary, it could just be them beating the worst team in Liga MX, with Dorados showing little to suggest they will be able to fight their way out of the bottom of the relegation table.
Santos make it two in a row
In a Northern Mexico matchup, Tijuana hosted Santos with both teams looking for their second win in a row. Santos' young coach Luis Zubeldia picked up his first road win in a convincing 3-1 win. After a rough opening match, Santos have looked good in the last two games and seem to be buying into the philosophy that their young manager wants their team to have. On the other bench, Miguel Herrera hasn’t won in his first two matches at home. Tijuana also still haven’t looked like a team that can put together a full 90 minutes yet. While the season is still young and four points isn’t terrible, as few teams have showed consistency this year, Herrera needs to get his team to start buying in sooner rather than later.
Pachuca amaze at El Azteca
In one of the more tantalizing matchups of the weekend, Pachuca visited America, with the home side getting run out of the building by a fantastic performance from Pachuca. The visitors ran out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first half. America were able to pull one back and kept being aggressive in the hopes of tying the match up, but Pachuca were too clinical in their finishing and attacked with a purpose and idea that left America looking for answers. After missing out on the playoffs a season ago, the choice to keep the young group of players and go through the growing pains seems to be paying off early for Pachuca, as they picked up a 4-1 win. While this is America’s first defeat and there’s so much soccer left to be played, coach Nacho Ambriz will feel the pressure for this performance and lack of composure his team showed.
Monterrey continue winning
Monterrey kept their strong start to the season going, as they beat Atlas 1-0 at home to make it a highest-possible nine points. While moral victories count for little in professional soccer, Atlas will be proud of being able to hang with Monterrey after their disastrous game last week versus America. While they do have some good pieces, the reality is that Atlas are just no match for a team of the class that Monterrey have. The Jalisco side are a real attacking option or two away from being a threat week in and week out. As for Monterrey, the strong start is exactly what they expected from the young season.
Leon outlast Cruz Azul
In a back and forth match that saw plenty of goals, Leon and Cruz Azul entertained everyone who saw their match. By the end, it was a 3-2 win for Leon that helps them keep pace with Monterrey, being the only other team to win their first three matches. This was also a match that showed how close the league is, and how it’s the little things that can make the difference. While Leon continue to be clinical in front of goal, Cruz Azul lacked that same little bit of class and remain winless after three games. The reality is that good teams find a way to win and bad teams find a way to lose. Leon were able to find a way to win this battle while Cruz Azul weren’t, which is a reason early in the season that Leon hold the seven point difference between the two clubs.
Morelia show fight in draw
Morelia bounced back after defeat nicely, as they were able to battle their way to a home draw with Toluca, 1-1. Toluca looked like a team who let their guard down after their first two matches were against the finalist and champions. Morelia have showed some grit this season but don’t possess the overall talent as Pumas or Tigres. While Toluca did have more of the game, they lacked that killer instinct you would expect from them. Take nothing away from Morelia though, as while Dorados keep losing, Morelia showed they’re willing to fight to stay up in the relegation battle.
Chiapas and Veracruz cancel each other out
Saturday night’s final match saw Chiapas and Veracruz in a good battle between two teams in need of three points. Veracruz were able to get on the board first within the half hour mark. Chiapas showed resilience and applied their style of play on the game; it only took three minutes for Chiapas to tie the match. It was an entertaining match that saw two teams really go for it, and while Chiapas controlled a bit more of the match, neither side could snag a winning goal.
Pumas shocked at home
In the Sunday morning opener, Pumas hosted Puebla and in a shocking match that saw Pumas pepper the goal over and over but fail find a way to bag a goal. Puebla, much in the way they did in their first week matchup against Club America, frustrated their Mexico City rivals. In this visit to the Mexican capital, Puebla took all three points. After a three-game run that has seen Puebla play America, Monterrey, and Pumas and take four points out of those matches, the club will feel confident going forward the rest of the season.
Chivas draw once again
The final match of the third round saw Chivas face a Tigres team missing a few players. For the third time this season, Chivas grabbed the lead in this match, thanks to another goal from their winter buy, Mexican youngster Orbelin Pineda. After the half, in a matter of two minutes, Tigres would grab the lead to turn the match around. Yet Chivas showed the kind of grit that had been missing from them through their first two matches. After the match finished a 2-2 draw, Chivas were left with their third draw in three matches. They are starting to make a habit of letting leads slip and if this continues to happen, they will find themselves in the limbo of Liga MX. Not battling for a top eight spot, but doing enough to be clear of relegation.
*Top eight teams qualify to Liguilla
Relegation: Another week goes by and Dorados continue to leave matches empty handed. More worrisome for the club is that it’s three weeks into the league and they still have failed to score. Morelia, Puebla, and Chivas all grabbed points again this week to make this week’s defeat even worse for Dorados. It’s starting to get grim for the Sinaloa club as goals and wins need to come soon, with only 14 games left to save any hope they have.
* Team with the lowest percentage is relegated.