Carlos Ruiz scored a late equalizer as Puebla and Santos tied 3-3 on Sunday.
Carlos Ruiz scored goals late in each half to help give Puebla a spirited 3-3 draw with Santos.
Puebla's point was positive but in a weekend in which Group 2 rivals America, Monterrey and Morelia all lost, Puebla squandered a chance to move closer to the top of the group and now sit with a 3-1-7 record and on 16 points. Santos, meanwhile, extended their Group 3 lead on Cruz Azul to three points.
Puebla helped Santos open the scoring. In the 22nd minute, Gilberto Mora grabbed hold of Ivan Estrada's shirt outside the box. Estrada though was able to run into the penalty area but Mora then fell on Estrada from behind and flattened him. Santos were immediately awarded a spot kick.
Juan Pablo Rodriguez stepped to the spot and placed the ball into the upper right corner of the net, just out of 'keeper Jorge Villalpando's reach.
Puebla leveled the match in the 45th minute after Ruiz scored a splendid goal. Villalpando sent a long ball from just outside the penalty area towards the other side of the field. Jared Borgetti jumped up for the ball and missed it, but the ball bounced towards Ruiz at the top of the area. Ruiz played the ball to himself off his chest, let it bounce once in front of him and hit a splendid scissor-kick over Oswaldo Sanchez's head and into the back of the net.
Ruiz's goal was his fourth of the season.
Puebla got the upper hand on Santos in the 65th minute and took a 2-1 lead. Rodrigo Salinas got free down the left side of the field and sent a ball to the front of the goal. Nicolas Vigneri got past Santos' defense and knocked a ball past Sanchez as the hosts took the lead.
However, it lasted about 13 minutes until Carlos Ochoa equalized. Ochoa dribbled into Puebla's penalty area on the left side and fired a shot on goal. The ball beat Villalpando but Puebla defender Joaquin Velazquez was in position to clear the ball. However, he slid and could only deflect the ball into his own goal.
Ochoa was in on Santos' third goal. The play started on the right side of the field as Fernando Arce held the ball and moved it towards the middle. Two passes later and Ochoa wound up with the ball on left side of the field. Villalpando ran out and Velazquez ran back towards the goal, but Ochoa sent the ball to Arce, and Arce knocked the ball slowly on goal. Velazquez was off balance and could not clear the ball away.
Santos celebrated as if they'd scored the game-winner but as the goal came in the 82nd minute, but not two minutes later Ruiz was celebrating his second goal of the game.
Puebla won two corner kicks in rapid succession, and on the second one Ruiz found the back of the net. Luis Miguel Noriega sent the ball from the right corner into the right side of the area, and Velazquez placed a header towards the left side of the box. Ruiz stepped forward and headed the ball into the back of the net.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Ruiz nearly won it when he hit an acrobatic kick on goal from point-blank range, but it went right to Sanchez. Santos then broke on a counterattack and Matias Vuoso ended up with a potential game-winning opportunity but Villalpando stood with Vuoso and turned him away.
The match ended in a spirited 3-3 draw that, with a few more minutes of play, could have finished with even more goals.
For more coverage of the Mexican Apertura 2009 season, visit Goal.com's Mexico football section.