By DAN KARELL
Oribe Peralta and Santos Laguna couldn’t have asked for a better first 45 minutes of their 2013 Apertura season.
Los Guerreros took a three goal lead over 2013 Clausura finalists Cruz Azul into halftime, with two of the goals scored by Peralta, and the opening goal just three minutes into the match from the head of Oswaldo Alanis.
The second 45 minutes were a different story, however. Peralta received his marching orders in the 60th minute when he was shown a straight red card for leaving his studs into the legs of Gerardo Flores as the Cruz Azul defender slid in for a tackle. In the 71st minute, Christian “Chaco” Gimenez scored for Cruz Azul on a penalty kick, and eight minutes later, La Maquina cut the deficit to one with a goal from Joao Rojas.
Santos Laguna held on for the next 11 minutes plus stoppage time to earn three valuable points at home.
Here’s a closer look at some other Liga MX matches from Apertura Week 2:
TOLUCA TOPS MORELIA DESPITE MONTERO PERFORMANCE
Jefferson Montero was once the next big thing in Ecuadorian football, and last Friday, he showed exactly why.
The Monarcas Morelia winger scored a hat-trick and put in a man of the match performance for his club, who would go on to lose to Toluca, 4-3, as well as finish the match with ten men. Montero’s first came from next to the byline, taking a chip shot from a nearly impossible angle and curling it over the head of the Toluca goalkeeper for a goal, just 40 seconds into the match.
Montero’s second came in the 42nd minute, sending an audacious left-footed chip that perfectly nestled into the side netting to give Morelia the lead once more. But it was his third that may have outdone the first two. Just minutes after conceding, Montero took on three defenders, beating them all with some shifty moves before blasting a shot into the upper 90 to once again give Morelia a lead.
It was a lead that again would not hold, thanks to the red card given to Mexico National Team and Morelia defender Joel Huiqui, and allowed Toluca to equalize from the spot. In the 90th minute, Toluca would take advantage of the extra man, with Edy Brambila arriving at the far post to tap home and give the visitors a shocking victory.
REYNA LEADS VERACRUZ OVER ATLANTE
Atlante’s poor end of the 2013 Clausura season has carried over to the Apertura.
The Cancun-based club, who lost in the opening weekend, were dismantled by Veracruz, 4-2, thanks to a hat-trick from Angel Reyna. All this despite the hosts Atlante scoring in the 2nd and 46th minutes, usually morale boosting times to score.
Reyna started his star performance with a breakaway goal in the 19th minute before finishing his second goal from close range four minutes before the half.
Alberto Garcia, who tied the match for Atlante 60 seconds into the second half, was sent off in the 50th minute, helping Veracruz to take back the lead and control of the game. Christian Marrugo scored the game-winning goal in the 61st for the visitors, and then Reyna put the game away in the 71st with a chip shot that crossed the goal line before a defender could clear it out.
Here’s a look at the entire list of matches from Apertura Week 2 in Liga MX:
Morelia 3, Toluca 4
Santos Laguna 3, Cruz Azul 2
Monterrey 1, Puebla 1
Pachuca 2, Tigres UANL 1
Atlante 2, Veracruz 4
Chiapas 1, Chivas 1
Atlas 1, Leon 2
Pumas UNAM 0, Queretaro 3