Edgar Benitez (pictured) celebrates after scoring in Toluca's 3-0 win over host Veracruz in a Liga MX match on February 15, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
In the seventh round, Cruz Azul needed a stoppage-time goal to defeat Puebla and remain atop Liga MX, while Toluca kept pace in second with a convincing victory over Veracruz. CONCACAF.com recaps the weekend’s action from Mexico.
2013/14 CONCACAF QUARTERFINALISTS
Marco Fabian continued his scoring tear, netting the lone goal deep in second-half stoppage time to lift league-leading Cruz Azul (19 points) to a 1-0 win over visiting Puebla (6 points) on Saturday. Cruz Azul and Tijuana – both CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalists -- are the only teams with perfect home records through seven Clausura rounds. Fabian, who now has four goals, lofted the clincher from the edge of the penalty area to hand La Maquina its sixth win of the campaign.
Toluca (16 points) remained three points behind Cruz Azul despite a 3-0 victory over host Veracruz (5 points), also on Saturday. Edgar Benitez (5’) staked the Red Devils a 1-0 halftime lead, before Isaac Brizuela (49’) and Pablo Velazquez (86’) each scored in the second half for a second straight week.
Club Tijuana (10 points) couldn’t rally from a pair of two-goal deficits as Xolos fell to Santos (10 points), 3-2, on Friday at Estadio Corona. Fresh off a victory in Copa Libertadores, Santos raced out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Juan Pablo Rodriguez (14’) from the penalty spot and Mauro Cejas (20’). Cristian Pellerano pulled Tijuana within a goal in the 24th minute.
After Carlos Darwin Quintero extended Santos’ lead to 3-1 four minutes into the second half, Fidel Martinez struck on the hour mark for his first goal of the campaign, but Tijuana couldn’t get any closer.
2014/15 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFIERS
Elias Hernandez (43’) and Mauro Boselli (70’) helped lift visiting Leon (8 points) to a 2-0 win over 10-man Monterrey (6 points) on Saturday to snap a four-game winless streak. The host went a man down in the 27th minute, when Cesar Delgado was issued a straight red card.
Club America (12 points) suffered a second consecutive 1-0 defeat, falling to Morelia (9 points) on the road Friday night. Christian Valdez scored the game’s lone goal in the 62nd minute. The Aguilas remained third in Liga MX, but fell seven points behind leaders Cruz Azul.
• Omar Bravo struck for a brace to lead Guadalajara to a 2-1 win over Queretaro and into fourth place in Liga MX.
• Pumas’ Argentinean forward Martin Bravo tops the scoring chart with six goals.
• Cruz Azul is the only team in the league to average two goals per game.
Other results: Pachuca 0-1 Atlante; Chiapas 0-0 Tigres UANL; Pumas UNAM 1-1 Atlas