The top four teams faced off against each other, resulting in a pair of 1-1 draws, while Pumas and Santos picked up road wins to move up the table.
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Cruz Azul 1-1 Chivas Guadalajara
Cruz Azul 1-1 Chivas Guadalajara
Edixon Perea's second half strike gave Cruz Azul a share of the points at home against 10-man Chivas as both sides missed a chance to claim the top spot.
Despite a largely dominant first half, Cruz Azul had trouble finding the net, not to mention a fine performance between the posts from Luis Ernesto Michel. The home side was made to pay for its profligacy in the 37th minute when Omar Arellano smashed the ball into the roof of the net on the counter to give Chivas the lead.
Cruz Azul responded well in the second half and received a boost in the 52nd minute when Miguel Ponce was shown his second yellow card in the space of three minutes and received his marching orders.
Javier Orozco had an effort ruled out for offsides, but Perea found the net soon after in the 62nd minute header off a cross from Christian Gimenez. Incredibly, Orozco had another effort ruled out for offsides, meaning Cruz Azul would have to settle for a draw despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.
Estudiantes Tecos 1-2 Pumas UNAM
After a deadlocked first half Pumas scored in the second period to claim a 2-1 win at Estudiantes Tecos. The win kept Tecos out of the playoff spots while Pumas moved into fifth place, though only one point out of first.
Pumas, the defending champion, was rewarded for its early pressure in the 12th when the in-form Martin Bravo got down the right flank and cut back for Javier Cortes, who was left with a simple finish.
However, Tecos, playing a more direct game, got back in the game in the 28th minute through Herculez Gomez. The American forward redirected a long forward pass from Rafael Medina past Miguel Palacios and into the net.
Pumas responded well to the equalizer, but couldn't retake the lead despite good looks from Francisco Palencia, Efrain Velarde and Bravo. Pumas also had a goal ruled out after Bravo was adjudged to have been in an offside position, though it was a controversial decision.
The visitors finally broke through in the 63rd minute after Palencia collected a pass from Bravo at the top of the area and finish with the help of a slight deflection. With the game slipping away, Tecos went on the attack, with Rodrigo Ruiz forcing a great save out of Palacios, but Pumas was able to maintain the advantage with strong defensive play and collect the win.
Tigres UANL 1-1 Jaguares
Jaguares entered Saturday's showdown against Tigres in an unfamiliar position - top of the table. After a tight, scoreless game, the final 11 minutes opened up and Jaguares scored late through Jorge Rodriguez to earn a 1-1 draw.
Jaguares, the most prolific team in the Apertura alongside Monterrey, found themselves frustrated by a resolute Tigres outfit, which had conceded just six goals in nine games prior to Saturday's showdown. Indeed, while Jaguares failed to generate much at all going forward, Tigres dominated much of the proceedings, with ex-Jagaures man Danilinho posing a particular threat to his former team.
Luis Gabriel Rey provided the most danger for Jaguares, going close twice in the first half, though the two goalkeepers stole the show for the first 75 minutes of the match, with Tigres' Enrique Palos and Jaguares' Edgar Hernandez both making impressive sides to keep things tight.
However, Tigres finally broke through in the 79th minute thanks to Lucas Lobos' ability to take advantage of sloppy defending from Jaguares. The home side pushed forward in a well-worked passing move, and though Hernandez initially denied Alan Pulido, the rebound fell to Lobos, who slid it past Hernandez and two Jaguares defenders much to the delight of the home crowd.
Jaguares didn't lay down for the final 10 minutes, and the team was rewarded for its efforts with an 89th minute equalizer. Tigres' Hugo Ayala coughed up the ball bringing it out of defense, allowing Rodriguez to dash away down the left and slot it past Palos, giving the visitors a share of the points and keeping them on top.
Puebla 1-2 Santos Laguna
A goal on either side of halftime was enough for Santos Laguna to move back into a playoff spot with a 2-1 win at Puebla. Despite pulling one back before the hour mark, Puebla could not complete the comeback and fell out of the playoff spots.
Santos created more chances through most of the first half, with Daniel Ludueña and Oribe Peralta playing influential roles. However, Santos had to be alert as Puebla nearly stole a goal through Duvier Riascos, who hit the post in the 32nd minute with a strong individual effort.
The visitors eventually did take the lead deep into first half stoppage time as Darwin Quintero robbed Roberto Juarez and fired past the helpless Alexanro Alvarez. Three minutes after the break, it was two as Christian Suarez cut through the Puebla defense and left it for Peralta, who came sliding in to finish.
Puebla was given a lifeline in the 57th minute when it was awarded a penalty after Peralta was adjudged to have held down Riascos while defending a corner. Riascos took and converted the penalty himself, leaving Santos with a narrow margin for error. The visitors wouldn't be seriously tested until the very end, though, as Oswaldo Sanchez had to be alert to push away a header from Riascos to preserve the win.
America 1-1 Tijuana
Christian Benitez struck late to earn America a draw, denying Tijuana a historic win. Alfredo Tena and Antonio Mohamed debuted on the bench for America and Tijuana, respectively, but neither was able to secure their side a much-needed win.
Tena might have been having second thoughts as Tijuana shocked the Estadio Azteca by taking the lead after just 14 seconds as Armando Navarrete could not control a low cross on the first attack of the game, pushing it right to Javier Yacuzzi, who finished with ease. Tijuana nearly grabbed a second as Navarrete was able to push a header from Jose Sand onto the crossbar after a mistake from Diego Reyes
After the initial goal, Antonio Mohamed opted to defend the lead and America piled on the pressure, but controlled possession without creating too many chances. Any threats it did create were easily dealt with by Cirilo Saucedo.
America created more and more chances after the great, and while it got closer to goal, it couldn't find a way past an inspired-looking Saucedo. However, the pressure eventually broke Tijuana, which was just minutes away from a hugely important victory. Christian Benitez took down a cross from Angel Reyna, took it past Saucedo and managed to help it over the line before Saucedo could react.
Tijuana had a chance to win it deep into injury time as Yacuzzi found Raul Enriquez open in front of goal, only for him to put it over with the whole goal at his mercy.
Carlos Bueno continued his run at the top of the Apertura scoring part as Queretaro overcame underperforming Monterrey 2-1. Daley Mena opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a tap-in at the far post and Carlos Bueno made it two before the hour mark with a chipped finish to round off a counterattack. Humberto Suazo pulled one back from the spot with 15 minutes to go, but the home side held on as both teams ended the game with 10 men after late red cards to Manuel Lopez and Hiram Mier.
Pachuca could only draw 1-1 at home against San Luis, a result that does little to help either team's playoff hopes. Michael Arroyo put San Luis ahead in the 36th minute after a mistake from Pachuca goalkeeper Carlos Velazquez allowed Arroyo to easily lift the ball into an empty net from some distance out. Enrique Esqueda put away a corner kick just before halftime to equalize, but neither side could break through in a second half littered with poor finishing.
Atlante picked up its fourth straight win in a wild 3-2 win at Atlas in the debut game for Atlas manager Juan Carlos Chavez. Hugo Rodriguez got the home side off and running with a stunning volley in the 14th minute, but Giancarlo Maldonado slid in at the near post and finished to tie it less than 10 minutes later. Osvaldo Martinez netted from the spot in the 31st minute to give Atlante a 2-1 lead at the break. Ricardo Bocranegra tied it at 2-2 five minutes after the restart, but Jose Francisco 'Kikin' Fonseca was on had for a tap-in to give Atlante all three points and extend its winning streak to four games.
Ivan Alonso scored a brace as Toluca overcame Morelia 2-1 at home, snapping the latter's three game winning streak. Alonso gave his team the lead in the 38th minute with a calm finish off a long feed from Issac Brizuela. Alonso Sandoval equalized for Morelia five minutes after the half, tapping in after a cutback from Miguel Sabah, but Alonso gave Toluca the win on 80 minutes with a turn and shot from the top of the box.
(top eight teams qualify for playoffs)
(top eight teams qualify for playoffs)
Queretaro's Carlos Bueno leads the scoring charts with eight goals, followed by Ivan Alonso (Toluca) and Christian Benitez (America) with seven, and Hector Mancilla (Tigres) and Luis Gabriel Rey (Jaguares) with six.
Ivan Alonso earned Player of the Week honorsPlayer of the Week: Toluca's Ivan Alonso takes the honors this week as his brace powered Toluca to a well-earned win over Morelia. Alonso has been in excellent form for his team so far in the Apertura, and if Toluca is to make the playoffs, then it is likely to be because of the Alonso's continued goalscoring exploits.
Team of the Week: Santos Laguna's 2-1 victory over Puebla was one of the most complete performances of the week, getting the needed goals when presented the opportunity and staying very organized on defense to earn a 2-1 road win against a solid Puebla side.
Goal of the Week: Hugo Rodriguez's strike for Atlas against Atlante is in line for this week's award. A free kick struck the Atlante wall and deflected high in the air, but before even letting it drop, Rodriguez took the ball out of the air on the volley, firing home a rasping shot to open the scoring in Atlas' eventual 3-2 defeat.
Goat of the Week: Raul Enriquez had a golden opportunity to score a vital win for Tijuana right at the death during its trip to America. With America having recently equalized after trailing for 85 minutes, Javier Yacuzzi played Enriquez in, leaving him with the whole goal to fire at, only to lift his chance over the bar, costing Tijuana potentially vital points.