Chivas win Clasico Tapatio, 10-man America hold Pumas
MEXICO CITY -- Two of Liga MX's biggest derbies took place on Saturday, with Chivas earning the bragging rights over Atlas thanks to a 1-0 victory in Guadalajara's Clasico Tapatio and Pumas managing a 1-1 tie against 10-man Club America in Mexico City's Clasico Capitalino.
Chivas down Atlas to keep Boy afloat
Chivas' victory was sealed when young Mexico international Alexis Vega cut inside from the left wing and launched a swerving, dipping shot from outside the penalty area that left Atlas goalkeeper Camilo Vargas with no chance.
But while the goal will be going viral due to its sheer quality, it was perhaps overshadowed by Vega's celebration. The 21-year-old appeared to pull down his shorts during the emotion and, naturally, it was widely been talked about afterwards.
In a game that wasn't a great spectacle, Vega's goal was the highlight and perhaps saved the job of struggling head coach Tomas Boy. Chivas are now up into 11th position, with Atlas outside the playoff spots in 11th.
Ochoa mistakes costs Las Aguilas
In Mexico City, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa's error let Pumas back into the game America looked to be comfortably seeing out.
America had gone down to 10 players in the 17th minute when Sebastian Cordova was sent off for a rash challenge, but Pumas struggled to capitalize.
Carlos Gonzalez shot wide when put through on goal just before half-time, but there were no shots on target in the first half.
America improved markedly after the break and it often didn't seem like Las Aguilas were playing with 10 players.
Renato Ibarra went close in the 53rd after bursting down the right wing, but it was substitute Federico Vinas who finally made the breakthrough on debut.
Seconds after coming on, Vinas latched onto a low Jorge Sanchez cross to open the scoring in the 78th.
America looked to be on top at that point, but two minutes later a low Bryan Mendoza shot found its way under Ochoa, who may have been unsighted.
"To say that it was an error from 'Memo' (Ochoa) isn't right," said America assistant coach Alvaro Galindo after the game. "We are a team: we win together and lose together."
Cruz Azul's off-field horror show mirrored in draw
Losing coach Pedro Caixinha, sporting director Ricardo Pelaez exiting, Robert Siboldi coming in as Caixinha's replacement and legal confusion have been the headlines dominating Cruz Azul's world the last couple of weeks.
Finally, it was back to the field on Friday and, on paper, a game against a Veracruz side on a 34-game winless streak was the ideal way to get things back on track.
But Veracruz also had a debutant coach in Emilio Lopez Zarza and the tone has at least been more positive of late since he took over.
The result was a 0-0 draw that was played out at times in torrential rain and with only one real chance created over the 90 minutes.
"We're starting a new story, we're going to write it, we have full belief in the players," said Siboldi after the game. "We have the players. Fans should believe in us, support us and trust that the team can do it."
There was nothing wrong with the words themselves, or Siboldi's intentions, it's just that the whole ambiance around Cruz Azul right now makes it difficult to be optimistic.
For Veracruz, there was perhaps a glimmer of hope in a gritty performance, but it's now 35 Liga MX games without a victory and Los Tiburones Rojos are breaking records for all the wrong reasons.
Necaxa continuing to surprise as Monterrey fail to deliver
Santos Laguna's 2-2 draw against Pachuca on Sunday meant Necaxa is the surprise leader, after Los Rayos beat Monterrey 2-0 on Saturday to end Rayados' undefeated run at home just one day short of a year.
Both goals came from 22-year-old Jesus Angulo and Necaxa was worth the victory over the 90 minutes.
Necaxa has had the least number of possessions per game so far this season, and the second least average amount of possession and Guillermo Vazquez's team is increasingly at ease playing that way. Los Rayos are certainly proving difficult to play against.
For Monterrey, five losses from nine games is a dreadful first half of the Apertura. Miguel Layun was sent off 10 minutes after half-time on Saturday for kicking out and the Rogelio Funes Mori, Vincent Janssen partnership -- starting together for the first time -- up front didn't click.
Coach Diego Alonso is once again scrambling to find a way of harnessing the talent he has at his disposal and making it resemble a team that should be fighting for the title.
La Volpe set for axe at Toluca?
If Toluca doesn't decide to fire Ricardo La Volpe in coming hours and days it'll be a major surprise, given the team -- the third most successful in the history of Mexico's top division -- is now down in 18th in the league table, with five points from nine games.
The excuses seem to have run out for La Volpe and a 2-0 home loss to fellow-strugglers Morelia ended with Toluca fans clapping the opposition's passes.
If there is one saving grace for La Volpe, it could be that Toluca's new sporting director Sinha played under the Argentine at the 2006 World Cup.
Even with that, however, it looks like the seventh managerial casualty this Apertura will be at Toluca.