Winners, Losers, and Lost: Week 2 - A14

Each week this column will look back at the results from the weekend in Liga MX. It will heap praise on the Big Winner, lament for the Big Loser, and ridicule something that appears to be Completely Lost based on the weekend's action.   

The Big Winners: Chivas

For the all of the mire that Chivas has waded through over the past few years, being seriously in the relegation battle was a new low. This summer saw a flurry of transfers that brought in some talented additions. They weren't the youngest group, but were an experienced bunch that arrived. El Tri veterans Carlos Salcido, Fernando Arce, and Angel Reyna bolstered a roster in much need of experience and ability.

Their average age (32) made these signings easy fodder for ridicule. However, their impact through two games has already been clear. Carlos Salcido has added to the defensive stability and organization of the side.  Fernando Arce has two goals in his first two matches, which constitutes one hundred percent of Guadalajara's goals. Even Angel Reyna has played well, until some moments of stupidity earned him a red card in their latest match.

Guadalajara's win in the CU over Pumas on Sunday was incredibly impressive. Chivas played a complete game and dominated in nearly every facet of the match, other than finishing their many scoring chances. After eighty minutes of one-way play, Reyna's expulsion caused some uncertainty in the final moments. Chivas responded while a man down and found the winning goal (through another seemingly innocuous Arce free kick).

Pumas didn't look great on Sunday, but a win in the Estadio Olimpico is always a quality one. More importantly, Chivas secured three points and now look ready to build plenty of distance on the bottom of the relegation table.  

The Big Losers: Tijuana

The Xolos don't win on the road. So what's another loss, especially one in the Estadio Azteca? Outside of the circumstances of this loss, it wouldn't be considered devastating.  After all, a loss to Club America in their home stadium is expected.

Yet, this loss hurt badly for Tijuana. The team played better than they had the previous week against Puebla, but were still under fire for the majority of the match. Despite America amassing possession and numerous shots, Tijuana carried a 1-0 lead into halftime.  They were undoubtedly pleased with the score, but would certainly cite the clear red card that was not handed out in the first half to America's Paul Aguilar.

 In the second half, the dominance of the home team grew. America pushed and found an equalizer in the 68th minute.  Tijuana continued to hang on, though. Through missed chances and a few Cirilo Saucedo saves, the Xolos looked destined to hold to the draw and a point in this difficult road match. The 1-1 scoreline remained until the sixth and final minute of stoppage time. America got the winner in the dying seconds from former-Xolo, Pablo Aguilar as his short range shot found its way past Saucedo.

America was certainly the better team on the night. Yet, the red card not given and the timing of the winning goal makes this an absolutely heartbreaking loss for Tijuana.

Completely Lost: Goals for Veracruz

Two games. Zero points. Zero goals.

It's a small sample. But the early returns are ugly. Veracruz has yet to score or show any inclination of doing so. They've amassed  a total of two shots on goal in 180 minutes. With no Angel Reyna to bang in the goals, Veracruz will be looking to new arrival Carlos Ochoa to make up some of the difference. While Ochoa is a competent striker, he is also 36 years old. He is loaned to a new team nearly every season and hardly represents a long-term solution to the scoring woes of Veracruz.

With relegation on the horizon, Veracruz are going to need to find a way to start scoring soon. It just doesn't appear be likely. 

** photo is used under a creative commons license from Esparta Palma



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