Liga MX Apertura 2024: Matchday One Review

Mexican domestic football returned this weekend with a bang.
Pumas UNAM v Leon - Torneo Apertura 2024 Liga MX
Pumas UNAM v Leon - Torneo Apertura 2024 Liga MX / Manuel Velasquez/GettyImages

Liga MX Apertura returned this past weekend with 19 goals being scored across the 9 games. Less than a week after Mexico's exit from the 2024 Copa América, Mexican fans can turn their attention to domestic with all Liga MX teams in attention this past weekend.

Friday 5th July 2024

Puebla 1-0 Santos Laguna
Querétaro 1-2 Tijuana
Juárez 2-2 Atlas

Puebla and Santos Laguna opened the 2024 Liga MX Apertura campaign with a narrow win for the home side. The deciding moment came with the last kick of the game when Puebla was gifted a penalty from an Ismael Govea handball in the 96th minute. Up stepped Lucas Cavallini who had the confidence to panenka the ball down the middle, beating the diving Hector Holguin.

Attention turned to Querétaro who hosted Tijuana. The visitors took the lead through Carlos González in the first half but were later pegged back as Samuel Sosa brought Querétaro back on level terms before Los Xolos stole all three points in the second half.

Fans were in for a treat for the final game on Friday night as Juárez and Atlas fought out a four-goal thriller for the spoils to be shared. Angel Zaldivar opened the scoring for the home side before Eduardo Aguirre levelled the scoring. Less than 20 minutes left to play and Juárez were back in front through an Avilés Hurtado penalty but once again failed to hold on as Luis Reyes secured a point on the road for the Guadalajara side.

Saturday 6th July 2024

Atlético San Luís 2-1 Club América
Tigres 1-0 Necaxa
Chivas 0-0 Toluca
Cruz Azul 1-0 Mazatlán

Shock defeat for América who lost only three games during the Apertura and Clausura regular season in the 2023/24. The main caveat will be that André Jardine lost key players due to their involvement at the Copa América and the injury to Luís Malagon, who otherwise would have been representing Mexico at the competition.

Clausura runners-up Cruz Azul left it until the 94' minute to claim their first win of the season when Bryan Galazra gave the home fans a sigh of relief. However, fans feared the worst when Camilo Cándido was sent off for the Mexico City side. A debut was given to Andrés Montano, who recently joined the club from Mazatlán.

Whilst the honours when even between Chivas and Toluca, a single goal was enough to separate Tigres and Necaxa when Andre Pierre-Gignac converted a penalty to secure all three points for the Monterrey club.

Sunday 7th July 2024

Pumas 4-1 Léon
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey

The game of the weekend was Pumas' defiant win against the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League winners. Scoring got underway in the 11th minute when 22-year-old Jorge Ruvalcaba slotted beyond the diving Alfonso Blanco. The home side continued to apply the pressure and doubled their lead with a helping hand from Léon defender Luis Cervantes. Léon grabbed a goal of their own through José Pérez but were punished by a long ranged effort from Guillermo Martínez and a late second goal for Ruvalcaba.

Pachuca and Monterrey had a job on their hands to follow the statement with in Mexico City and struggled to do that, with one goal being the difference between the two. Defeats for the last two Champions League winners became a reality as former Real Madrid playmaker Sergio Canales scored the only goal of the goal. In a quick attack, Canales was played in by a switch from Roberto de la Rosa to score from close range.

The first matchday of the 2024 Apertura is now in the history books, but how do you predict the rest of the campaign will unfold?