Club America are back to winning ways after a early season struggles. Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images
Jornada 13 is now in the books! In the latest Liga MX weekend, Mexico’s top flight showcased a return to form for league giants Club America, another dismal ending to a match for rivals Chivas, dropped points for former first place Puebla, and much more!
In case you missed any of the action, here are three talking points and some additional notes on Week 13 of the 2022 Clausura.
– ESPN+ viewers guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more
– Futbol Americas on ESPN+: MLS, Liga MX, USMNT, El Tri
Revitalized America celebrate Ochoa landmark
Over the last three matchdays, no Liga MX team has been more in-form than Club America. Once sitting at the bottom of the table, the Mexico City giants have been revitalized under the leadership of interim manager Fernando Ortiz. After claiming wins over Toluca and Necaxa, Las Aguilas followed up their six points with an uncomplicated 3-0 thrashing of FC Juarez on Saturday.
Federico Viñas, Diego Valdes and FC Dallas academy product Alejandro Zendejas all chipped in with goals, but it was Viñas’ opportunity that stood out through his incredible free-kick in the first half. The goal for the Uruguayan was his first for the club since last October.
“The team is more united, happier,” said Viñas after the match. “We have a positive streak and we hope to extend it.”
Elsewhere within Club America’s setup, goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa celebrated his 400th official game with the Liga MX team. The 36-year-old has lately been on a good run with seven consecutive clean sheets for club and country.
🥇 Guillermo Ochoa, @yosoy8a 400 partidos oficiales defendiendo nuestro arco. 400 siendo #ElMásGrande 🇲🇽
Siempre volando como un Águila Real #SiempreÁguilas 🦅 pic.twitter.com/ypIsNKWsVi
— Club América (@ClubAmerica) April 10, 2022
Frustrations boil over for Chivas
In an emotional rollercoaster of a match against Toluca, Chivas held their own for the majority of the encounter that featured a direct red for fullback Carlos Cisneros in the 24th minute. Down to 10 players, Chivas were able to go toe-to-toe with the home side and eventually scored first in the 68th minute after a fantastic assist from Fernando Beltran that perfectly set up striker Jose Juan Macias.
As the game began to close out, Chivas then found themselves being forced back by Toluca. Amid increasing pressure from the opposition, there was the unexpected appearance of an unlucky omen when a cat ran onto the pitch and delayed a goal kick from Chivas’ Raul Gudiño minutes before the end of regulation. Once in injury time, Chivas would suffer a red card for manager Marcelo Michel Leaño in the 91st minute and then an equalizer from Toluca’s Leonardo Feranndo in the 97th.
Tensions on high, Chivas bench players Antonio Briseño and Cesar Huerta were both seen pushing each other after the final whistle cemented the 1-1 scoreline.
“It wasn’t the best, but those who have played soccer know that it can get heated,” said Chivas assistant coach Francisco Robles about the scuffle between the two. “They’re all fine now.”
After the result, Chivas now only have one win in their last eight Liga MX matches.
Pumas mount comeback thanks to Ruvalcaba
You don’t have to tell Puebla twice that 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline. Weeks after their 2-0 lead over Santos Laguna finished in a 2-2 draw, Puebla once again had the same outcome after initially scoring twice in the first half of last Friday’s game against Pumas UNAM.
Pumas’ Rogerio made it 2-1 right before halftime, and in the second half, they began to control the game through effective substitutes and more risk-taking in the final third. It came down to the wire, and by the 86th minute, 20-year-old Jorge Ruvalcaba equalized the scoreline at 2-2 after coming off the bench for the second half.
If Ruvalcaba’s name sounds familiar, it might be because the Californian was one of the academy products that Pumas’ Sebastian Saucedo highlighted in a Q&A with ESPN earlier this month. Ruvalcaba currently has three goals in his last six Liga MX appearances.
Andre-Pierre Gignac and Tigres visited Queretaro on Sunday, the first home match for Gallos Blancos in more than a month. Hector Vivas/Getty Images
– Queretaro played its first home match on Sunday in more than a month following the shocking scenes of fan violence that rocked Liga MX and beyond. The loss to Tigres UANL was played with no fans in attendance and over 600 security personnel on site. As part of Queteraro’s ongoing punishment for the brawls that halted the March 5 match against Atlas that left 26 injured and led to 27 arrests, Los Gallos Blancos will play home games with no crowds for a year, with barras supporters’ groups given a three-year ban.
– The CONCACAF Champions League returns with the second legs of the semifinal round. On Tuesday, Cruz Azul will host Pumas after losing 2-1 in the first leg. On the other end of the knockout round, New York City FC will also hope to turn things around at home this Wednesday after losing 3-1 to the Seattle Sounders FC last week.
– Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen recently announced upcoming friendlies in Mexico. Leverkusen’s men’s team will face Toluca on May 17 and their women’s team will take on Club America Femenil on July 14.