Cardozo out at Chivas; Camoteros win Puebla derby

The Chivas fired coach José Cardozo after their winless streak hit five games, the eighth manager sacked this season.

Guadalajara lost 2-1 at UNAM on Sunday and hours later they began searching for a new coach. Alberto Coyote was named interim manager in place of José Cardozo.

Cardozo (pictured at top) was hired last summer to replace popular coach Matías Almeyda who left the club over a dispute with management. The Chivas only won 9 of 28 games under the guidance of the Paraguayan coach and missed out on the playoffs last season.

Cardozo’s days appeared numbered after the Chivas lost two straight games to bitter rivals América in mid-March. After Sunday’s loss, Guadalajara finds itself in 11th place but is only 4 points out of a playoff spot.

Pumas 2, Chivas 1

Carlos González and Luis Fernando Quintana scored first-half goals for the hosts and the Pumas held on for the victory. Walter Sandoval converted a penalty kick for Guadalajara’s goal.

UNAM midfielder Víctor Malcorra escaped down the left flank in minute 27 then cut back a low pass when he got to the touch line. González raced in front of defender Hiram Mier and stuck out his right foot, deflecting the cross past Chivas keep Raúl Gudiño at the near post.

Pumas fans were still celebrating the goal when Quintana committed a foul on Isaac Brizuela inside the box and ref Fernando Guerrero pointed to the spot. As goalie Alfredo Saldívar dived to his right, Sandoval fired a shot right down the middle to even the score.

Quintana made up for his foul, roofing a shot into the net after a scramble in the goalie box. Two Chivas touched the ball after the free kick, but neither was able to clear and Quintana was in the right spot at the right time. Gudiño could do nothing to stop the go-ahead goal, though he made 5 saves on the day.

The win was the only the second at home for the 14th-place Pumas who moved to 13 points after 12 matches. Guadalajara has 15 points.

Lobos BUAP 0, Puebla 4

The Camoteros won the Puebla derby with a big assist from the hosts as the Lobos were responsible for two own-goals. Puebla’s Lucas Cavallini scored the other two goals for the visitors.

Defender Michael Orozco scored an own-goal in minute 7 to put the Lobos behind the 8-ball right from the start. Orozco then contributed mightily to the team’s second own-goal which was attributed to defender José Joaquín Esquivel. In between, Cavallini scored his fourth goal of the season to send Puebla into the locker room with a comfortable 3-0 advantage.

Cavallini completed the scoring in minute 73 and the Camoteros coasted to the victory, holding the Lobos to only 2 shots on goal

Puebla narrowed the gap on 8th-place Cruz Azul, pulling even on points (19) but behind on goal differential.

Nervous front-runners

On Saturday night, Monterrey coach Diego Alonso watched has his team squander yet another lead at home, although this time he didn’t make conservative substitutions. Afterward, he confessed that he thought his players got nervous after Milton Caraglio had narrowed the lead to 2-1.

Visiting Cruz Azul was trailing 2-0 with only 15 minutes remaining, but managed to score twice to earn a key point on the road.

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In Matchday 2, the Rayados were beating León 2-0 at home only to concede two late goals (the equalizer coming in minute 90+4). In Matchday 10, the visiting Tigres scored in minute 81 to snatch a point and deny Monterrey a home win in the Clásico Regiomontano. In that game, Alonso was crucified by the local press for switching to a defensive line-up and trying to protect the lead instead of continuing to maintain the offensive pressure the Rayados had enjoyed.

If Monterrey were better able to protect home field leads, they could be challenging for the top seed. Instead, the Rayados are 6 points back of León. They have 2 home games remaining – against Santos and Necaxa (the Rayos are among the league’s best road teams.