Busy Tuesday night in Copa features seven matches highlighted by a shoot-out in Querétaro.
The Gallos Blancos of Querétaro salvaged their Copa MX season by outscoring Tijuana, while Necaxa managed an undeserved draw at home against second division Sinaloa in its Cup opener on Tuesday night.
The new Copa MX format stretches out a single tournament over the course of the traditional soccer year rather than two short-season Cups each year. Despite the more drawn out calendar, Week 3 of the Copa MX was crammed into a single night.
Gallos Blancos 3, Xolos 2
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Jordi Cortizo opened the scoring for the Gallos in minute 23, slotting home from a nifty pass from Marcel Ruiz who just returned from the Pan Am Games where he helped El Tri earn a bronze medal. Tijuana tied it from the penalty spot 9 minutes later though if video assistant replay (VAR) were being used in the Cup, the penalty call would likely have been overturned.
The second half saw former starting fullback George Corral score off a free kick when a wide gap opened in the Xolos wall. And nearly 10 minutes later, the Gallos extended their lead when 17-year-old midfielder Gerson Vázquez – a native of Tijuana – blasted a left-footer past Xolos keeper Luis Michel off an assist by Cortizo.
Former Gallo star Camilo Sanvezzo scored for Tijuana with a splendid individual move in minute 70, but the Xolos could not get the equalizer.
All three teams in Group 5 now have 3 points, but Querétaro has played 3 games already and has a -3 goal differential. The Xolos have played twice (beating the Gallos in Tijuana on July 30) and have a +1 differential. Zacatecas has only played once (a 2-0 win over Querétaro on Aug. 6) nad is in first place.
Necaxa 2, Dorados 2
Danilo Ortiz earned a critical point for the visiting Dorados with a headed goal in minute 90+2. Sinaloa probably deserved more than the tie as neither of Necaxa’s goals would have counted if VAR were in use.
The Rayos took the lead in minute 54 when Daniel Alvarez converted a penalty kick. Replays showed there was no foul. The Dorados tied the score in minute 65 off a corner kick when Daniel González was inexplicably left unmarked in the middle of the box.
In minute 78, Necaxa went back in front when Eduardo Herrera knocked home a shot off a slick pass from Rodrigo Contreras. However, replays showed that Contreras had controlled the ball in the box with a hand ball. Without VAR, the goal stood and Sinaloa had every right to feel aggrieved.
But with time running out, the Rayos once again failed to mark a man in the box and Ortiz headed home off a long free kick.
The Dorados now lead Group 6 with 4 points from two games, while Necaxa has 1 point from one match. Last-place Celaya has played once, losing to Sinaloa 2-1.
Pachuca 3, Zacatepec 1
The Tuzos finally got their first win of the season, scoring three first-half goals against the second-division Cañeros then holding on for the victory. Leo Ulloa had a goal and an assist to lead Pachuca who is 0-1-3 in league play.
Ulloa converted a penalty in minute 25, then Tuzos starlet Roberto de la Rosa, 19, scored when his shot deflected off a Zacatepec defender and wrong-footed the goalie. Ulloa then finished off a fast break by finding Víctor Dávila in the middle of the box and his soft cross was easily headed home by the Chilean striker.
Rodrigo Prieto got one back for the Cañeros in minute 57, but the visitors could not do any further damage.
All three teams in Group 9 have played twice now and Pachuca leads with 4 points. Zacatepec has 3 points while Atlas is in last with 1 point.
Pumas 1, Potros UAEM 0
Fullback Alan Mendoza got the lone goal of this match just after halftime to secure 3 points for UNAM. The result lifts the Pumas into second place in Group 8, tied on 4 points with Atlético San Luis but behind on goal differential. The Potros are in last place with 0 points.
Atlante 0, Juárez 2
The visiting Bravos got a goal in each half to defeat Atlante, one of two Ascenso MX teams in Group 3. Leandro Carrijó (40’) and Luis López (76’) got the goals for Juárez who now have 4 points from two games, even with the Venados of Mérida who are ahead on goal differential. Atlante is in last place with 0 points.
Leones Negros 0, Cafetaleros 1
The visiting team from Chiapas handed the Leones Negros their second loss in Cup play thanks to a second-half penalty conversion by Franco Arizala. The Cafetaleros are tied for first in Group 2 with the Rayados of Monterrey, each with 3 points.
Sonora 0, Morelia 1
Lucas Villafáñez scored in minute 19 to earn the Monarcas a second straight 1-0 win in Group 1. Morelia has 6 points from two matches, while Sonora and Puebla have 0 points.