Liga MX Tres Puntos: Leon hitting top form; Camilo nets double
Week 14 of the Liga MX Apertura is in the books and Club America remains at the top of the league table.
Despite a 3-2 loss to Queretaro in the opening match of the week, Las Aguilas managed to hang on to first place. America has 29 points, two ahead of Atlas. Queretaro, meanwhile, moved to the No. 9 position thanks to its win, led by a two-goal performance from Camilo Sanvezzo and accomplished despite a sending off.
In Friday's second match, Santos Laguna and Pumas UNAM played to a 1-1 draw. Javier Orozco put Santos in front in the 78th minute, before Daniel Luduena scored the equalizer just two minutes later.
Cruz Azul sits in eighth place -- the final Liguilla spot -- following a 3-1 win over last-place Monarcas Morelia on Saturday. Mariono Pavane scored two goals as La Maquina rolled. Pachuca played relegation-threatened Leones Negros to a scoreless draw, second-place Atlas scored a 2-1 comeback win over Puebla, and Adrian Martin Lugo lifted Chiapas over Veracruz with a goal in the 80th minute. Chiapas is currently in the Liguilla mix in sixth place.
In Saturday's El Clasico Regio between Tigres and Monterrey, a wild finish led to a 2-2 draw and both teams remaining tied for fourth in the league table.
Tigres was leading Rayados late in the match after two first-half goals, including one from American international Herculez Gomez, before the UANL defense suffered a second-half collapse. Jesus Zavala put Monterrey on the board in the 53rd minute with a header following a cross from Cesar Delgado, before Dorlan Pabon found Luis Madrigal streaking into the box for the equalizer with just four minutes remaining in regular time.
The week came to an end with two high-scoring affairs on Sunday.
In the first match, Leon earned a big win by knocking off third-place Toluca, 3-2. Toluca attempted to make things interesting in the closing moments of the game, with a goal from Erbin Trejo in the 87th minute, but it was too little, too late. Leon had enough of a cushion to hold off the comeback attempt and secure a very crucial three points to move up to No. 10 in the league table - just one point behind No. 8 team, Cruz Azul.
The final match was back-and-forth with multiple lead changes as Chivas Guadalajara and Tijuana played to a 3-3 draw.
It appeared that Xolos had earned the win, but Jair Pereira saved Guadalajara from yet another defeat with a header in the 92nd minute to draw even.
The point was a nice step in the right direction for Chivas, who are still facing the threat of relegation.
Here are Tres Puntos from the latest league action in Mexico:
1. Leon getting hot at the right time
Don't look now, but the defending Liga MX Apertura and Clausura champions are charging up the league table and find themselves in great position to qualify for the playoffs. Once in the postseason, Leon would be a team to watch. La Fiera has now won three games in a row, and in the Liguilla s in other playoff competitions, it is all a matter of getting hot at the right time. Leon is doing just that and they will hope to carry the momentum through the final few weeks of the season and into Liguilla.
Led by Mauro Boselli on offense, Leon has scored the second most points in Liga MX during the Apertura - behind only Club America - and they now sit just one point away from eighth place. Leon's final three games of the Apertura will come against Atlas, Puebla and Tijuana.
2. Santos' struggles continue
Santos Laguna began giving their fans reason for concern a few weeks ago, and its slide has not stopped. After Friday's draw against Pumas, Santos fell out of the top eight of the Liga MX standings for the first time during the tournament. The club has failed to record a win since Sept. 12.
There are still three weeks remaining in the Apertura - Santos plays Leones Negros, Pachuca and Puebla - so it is still too early for Los Guerreros fans to panic, but Santos is sitting in a position where one slip up could cause their playoff hopes to come crashing down.
3. Atlas closing in on playoff berth, but tough schedule looms
After a Week 14 win over Puebla, Atlas moved one step closer to clinching a Liguilla berth. Atlas now sits just two points behind Club America, which has sat in first-place since Week 3 of the Apertura, and they sit in great position to advance with a shot at bringing home the league title.
Already qualified for Copa Libertadores 2015, Atlas should be able to finish the job in the Apertura and reach the postseason, but it will not be easy. Los Rojinegros will face a red hot Leon side, Tijuana and America in the final three weeks.
If Atlas is able to get by with five or six points, they will have qualified for postseason play and will have quality wins under their belt as they build momentum for a potential championship run.
Player of the Week: Camilo Sanvezzo, Queretaro
On Friday, Camilo Sanvezzo netted two goals and recorded an assist for Queretaro to life Los Gallos Blancos over Liga MX leaders Club America, 3-2. Sanvezzo got the scoring underway in the 25th minute of the match, but it was his second goal that was the real difference-maker.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Sanvezzo scored his second goal of the match, a game-winner.
Sanvezzo tapped the ball into the back of the net from the left side of the box.
With his two goals in Week 14, Sanvezzo is now the leading goal scorer in Liga MX with 10. Dorlan Pabon of Monterrey and Mauro Boselli of Leon each have nine goals through 14 weeks.
Paul Arriola (Tijuana) - Did not play in Tijuana's 3-3 draw with Guadalajara.
Edgar Castillo (Atlas) - Castillo earned another start for Atlas in its 2-1 win over Puebla. Castillo went the full 90 minutes, so he continues the impressive streak of playing every minute in the Apertura 2014.
Joe Corona (Tijuana) - Did not play in Tijuana's 3-3 draw with Guadalajara.
Greg Garza (Tijuana) - Garza earned the start for Tijuana in its 3-3 tie with Guadalajara. A misstep from Garza led to Chivas' first goal. After 70 minutes, Garza left the game with a head injury. Garza is set to undergo precautionary tests on Monday.
Hérculez Gómez (Tigres UANL) - Gomez received the start for Tigres and played 64 minutes in the 2-2 draw against Monterrey in El Clasico Regio. Gomez scored a goal in the 40th minute and picked up a yellow card.
Michael Orozco (Puebla) - Orzoco got the start and played all 90 minutes for La Franja in their 2-1 loss to Atlas.
José Francisco Torres (Tigres UANL) - Jose Torres started in place of an injured Jorge Torres Nilo. Torres went the full 90 minutes.
Mexico odds and ends
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