By DANIEL PRICE
The crisis at Tigres UANL deepened as Pumas UNAM overturned a one goal deficit to emerge as 2-1 victors in the Clasico Universitario in Monterrey.
Tigres started much the brighter, and after 11 minutes their constant pressure paid dividends when a corner from Lucas Lobos found a completely unmarked Guido Pizzaro at the back post, who nodded home to give the home side their first goal of the Clausura. Tigres continued to push forward, and in the 18th minute Carlos Salcido played in Lucas Lobos who saw his audacious 25 yard shot clatter the crossbar.
The game changed in the 37th minute with the dismissal of Jose Rivas. Pumas were defending a corner when the Tigres veteran swung an elbow at the face of Marco Palacios, prompting the referee to justifiably produce a straight red.
Tigres continued to look dangerous even with 10 men, but in the 64th minute the referee again took a central role, opting to award a soft-looking penalty for a foul on Velarde by Jesús Dueñas. Martin Bravo made no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way and finding the bottom corner. It looked as through the game was heading for a draw when in the 85th minute Martin Bravo doubled his tally for the evening, taking advantage of a poor offside trap to slide home from the corner of the 6-yard box.
It was only Pumas second win in 23 games, a result which will have eased some pressure on under-fire manager Jose Luis Trejo. Tigres, meanwhile, are still winless in 2014 and face Monterrey in the Clasico Regiomontano next weekend.
Here’s a closer look at the best of Liga MX from Clausura Round 4:
CLUB TIJUANA WIN TO EXTEND UNBEATEN HOME RECORD
Club Tijuana recorded their first ever victory against Morelia on Friday evening, with a second half header being enough to earn Xolos the three points.
The first half was slow to get going, but the second half was played at a higher tempo, and in the 61st minute an inch-perfect free kick from Fidel Martínez allowed Javier Gandolfi to head into the Morelia goal from close range.
The win puts Xolos fifth in the standings and extends their undefeated streak at home to an impressive 19 games. It is less happy news for Morelia, as news broke on Sunday afternoon that the defeat had cost Carlos Bustos his position as manager. With the start of their Copa Libertadores campaign in midweek followed by the visit of Leon on Friday, they will be hopeful of quickly finding a replacement.
PUEBLA LEFT STUNNED BY CHIAPAS FIGHT-BACK
DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla side looked sure of recording their first victory of the year after springing into a two goal lead by halftime, but were ultimately undone by a stubborn Chiapas.
It took just four minutes for Saul Villalobos to opening the scoring, firing home a fine strike from outside the area that left the keeper well beaten. If the first goal oozed class, Puebla’s second just before half time oozed comedy. A terrible mix up between Chiapas’ goalkeeper and centre back saw Robles knock a looping header past the helpless Mendoza, which to Jaguares’ despair ended nestled in the corner of the goal.
Chiapas refused to lie-down, however, and just before the hour mark struck twice in a minute to bring the scores level. Firstly, Lucas Viatri played a fine header into the path of Mauricio Romero who promptly smashed the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards out, before Viatri was again involved, slipping in Luis Alfonso Rodriguez to slot the ball under the keeper from a tight angle.
Both sides had chances to win the game, but in the 93rd minute Jaguares completed an incredible turn around when late substitute Martin Zuniga got the better of his marker, rising highest to meet Pablo Gabas’ cross and head into the corner of the net.
BEST OF THE REST
Club America came from behind to beat Atlas 2-1 in Guadalajara, Cruz Azul scored four in a comprehensive rout of Veracruz, Leon suffered a surprising 3-1 home defeat to Pachuca, and Atlante continued their unlikely quest to avoid relegation with a commendable 1-1 draw at home to Chivas de Guadalajara.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Martin Bravo – Pumas: Pumas have only scored four goals this year, but Martin Bravo is responsible for all of them. His determination and passion for Pumas to succeed was evident throughout the match against Tigres, and without his two goals Pumas would almost certainly have been defeated, and Jose Luis Trejo may have been looking for a new job.
Here’s a look at the entire list of matches from Clausura Round 4 in Liga MX:
Queretaro 0, Santos Laguna 0
Club Tijuana 1, Morelia 0
Cruz Azul 4, Veracruz 0
Tigres UANL 1, Pumas UNAM 2
Leon 1, Pachuca 3
Atlas 1, Club America 2
Puebla 2, Chiapas 3
Toluca 2, Monterrey 0
Atlante 1, Chivas de Guadalajara 1