Oscar “Conejo” Perez howler supplies Necaxa first-leg win over Pachuca


Felipe Gallegos and Claudio Riaño scored as Necaxa took a 2-1 advantage over reigning champions Pachuca in the first leg of their 2016 Liga MX Apertura quarterfinals clash on Thursday.

Pachuca impressed early on, but it was Necaxa who provided the opener when a long-distance shot from Felipe Gallegos produced a howler from Oscar “Conejo” Perez.

Conejo’s mistake sparked Pachuca into a greater share of possession, and in the second half, Pachuca found a crucial away goal as Victor Guzman, who was replacing the injured Erick Gutierrez, rifled in a Rodolfo Pizarro pass to put things at 1-1.

Edson Puch had limited impact all game, but the Chilean international made it count. In the 85th minute, Puch danced his way into the box before setting up Claudio Riaño, who slotted past Conejo from a tight angle to give the hosts a stunning win.

Both sides will meet again on Sunday at the Estadio Hidalgo, where Pachuca will need to win by any scoreline to keep their title defense alive.


Monterrey claim 2-1 win at Morelia to keep Liguilla hopes alive


Monterrey kept their faint Liguilla hopes alive with a well-deserved 2-1 win at Monarcas Morelia on Saturday night.

The Rayados came into this game needing a win to have any chance of making the Liguilla, and they nearly conceded early when Raul Ruidiaz’s fifth minute penalty was denied by Jonathan Orozco.

But Monterrey took the lead after 22 minutes when Rogelio Funes Morio grabbed his tenth goal of the season by firing in a Carlos Sanchez cross.

In the second half, it was Monterrey who started brightest and didn’t have to wait long to double their lead. While Funes Mori’s pass was partially blocked, Yimmy Chara smashed home from close range to score Rayados’ second of the night.

At the other end, Monarcas Morelia finally showed some class in possession and Raul Ruidiaz pulled the hosts within one in the 74th minute to level Dayro Moreno in the golden boot race.

Monterrey reacted well and came close to putting the game to bed through an Edwin Cardona free-kick, but at the final whistle, Los Rayados held on to earn all three points.

Monterrey will now have to hope Pumas UNAM and Toluca don’t win their respective games to qualify to the Liguilla.


Santiago Palacios strike earns Pumas point against Morelia

Ciudad de México, 5 de noviembre de 2016. Gol de durante el partido correspondiente a la Jornada 16 del torneo Apertura 2016 de la Liga Bancomer MX, entre el Cruz Azul y los Tuzos del Pachuca, celebrado en el estadio Azul. Foto: Imago7/Agustin Cuevas

Ciudad de México, 5 de noviembre de 2016. Gol de durante el partido correspondiente a la Jornada 16 del torneo Apertura 2016 de la Liga Bancomer MX, entre el Cruz Azul y los Tuzos del Pachuca, celebrado en el estadio Azul. Foto: Imago7/Agustin Cuevas

Santiago Palacios’ first goal for Pumas UNAM helped the Universitarios earn a 1-1 draw with Monarcas Morelia on Sunday.

The visitors had led after just five minutes when Raul Ruidiaz latched on to a Miguel Sansores through ball to beat Alejandro “Pikolin” Palacios.

But after mounting forward and coming close on several occasions, Santiago Palacios’ 71st minute strike put the Universitarios on their way to a share of the spoils.

In the closing stages of the game, Abraham Gonzalez saw himself sent off for Pumas with two yellow cards in a space of seconds. At the final whistle, though, both sides settled for the draw.

The point takes Monarcas Morelia above Veracruz in the relegation table but without a chance at making the Liguilla. Meanwhile, Pumas UNAM will need need a victory in the final game of the regular season to guarantee their place in the Liguilla.

Next, Monarcas Morelia will host Monterrey at the Estadio Morelos, while Pumas UNAM will visit Puebla.


Late double fires Monarcas Morelia past Necaxa


Monarcas Morelia claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win over Necaxa as they claimed a vital three points in their bid to stave off relegation.

After a scoreless first half, Necaxa, who before tonight were unbeaten in their astounding last nine league games, looked headed for another straightforward night when they took the lead through an Emanuel Loeschbor own goal.

Monarcas Morelia, last in the relegation table, could not really afford to lose this match, and after a series of missed efforts, Peruvian international Raul Ruidiaz headed home from an Enrique Perez headed pass following a corner to level things at 1-1.

The moment seemed to signify a major change in momentum, and the hosts took advantage by scoring the winner three minutes later. Another corner from Carlos Adrian Morales finished with Enrique Perez heading the ball into the back of the net to give Monarcas Morelia an important three points at home.

Next, Morelia will pay a tough visit to Mexico City to take on Pumas UNAM, while Necaxa will look to bounce back in their search for a place in the Liguilla when they host Puebla at the Estadio Victoria.


Leon strengthen Liguilla chances with 3-1 win over Monarcas Morelia


Leon stunned struggling Monarcas Morelia to a 3-1 win at the Estadio Nou Camp on Saturday.

La Fiera had the better of the opening exchanges, but didn’t take the lead until the closing stages of the first half. A penalty was called for a handball from a free-kick, and Mauro Boselli stepped up to give Leon the lead.

At the restart, Leon started the second half like they did the first and claimed a second when German Cano swept home an Alexander Mejia pass.

Leon continued to create chances, and moments later, Efrain Velarde burst through the left-wing and fired in the 3-0.

Undeterred, Monarcas Morelia launched forward in search of the goal, and Miguel Sansores offered some hope for the visitors when he fired through William Yarbrough to put his team within two.

However, Leon had little trouble closing out the final minutes of the game, and at the end, La Fiera held on to an important three points at home.

Next, Leon will look to continue their impressive league run against Puebla, while Monarcas Morelia will host the red-hot Necaxa.