Liga MX Apertura round-up: Round 1

New players, new kits and new coaches. The Liga MX Apertura has kicked off this weekend and I’m here to bring you all the highlights of last weekend’s action. Monarcas kicked off the Apertura against Monterrey but somehow neither side was able to find the net in this game. A disappointing 0-0 for Rayados.

The standout result from this weekend came from Monterrey as Puebla were brushed aside by Tigres. A 5-0 victory for the Auriazules who now lead the table. Enner Valencia, who joined Tigres from West Ham, scored a hat-trick on his debut and now has 21 goals in 24 appearances in the Liga MX. Not too bad, eh? Tigres’ attacking force is extremely strong with Gignac, Valencia and Eduardo Vargas. Aquino and Damm are dangerous out wide and Argentinian midfielder Zelarrayan is the creative outlet of the side. He scored a magnificent goal from long range this weekend and completed 65 out of his 66 passes (98%). Definitely one to look out for!

Eduardo Coudet got off to a false start for Xolos as Tijuana were defeated at home by Cruz Azul. It was the first game in charge for the former Rosario Central boss but it was one to forget. New signing Felipe Mora wasn’t match-fit and started on the bench but it was another new signing that got things going for La Maquina. Edgar Mendez joined the Mexican side from Deportivo Alaves of Spain this summer and started off with a brace. An important 2-0 victory for La Maquina.

One of my favourite strikers in the Liga MX got himself on the scoreboard again as Matias Alustiza converted a penalty for Atlas in a 0-3 win over Club Leon. Ghanaian attacking midfielder Clifford Aboagye was impressive for Atlas who will definitely be happy with all three points. Can they qualify for the playoffs this season?

One of the most unexpected and unusual transfers happened this month as Pachuca announced the signing of Keisuke Honda. The Japanese midfielder has a bulk of experience and definitely improves the league. Everyone is looking forward to his debut but Keisuke stated that he still needs 3 or 4 weeks to get fit. Pachuca faced a tough away game against UNAM Pumas without Honda and Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano who was sold to PSV. Chilean forward Nicolas Castillo opened the scoring with a superb free-kick and Pumas were able to see the game out. The striker has been in sensational form since joining from Universidad de Catolica in Chile. Pumas 1-0 Pachuca.

Newly promoted side Lobos BUAP faced Santos Laguna in their first Apertura game. It was a goal fest but Los Lobos blew their lead twice. Both teams shared a point in Puebla, 2-2. Necaxa won 2-0 away at Veracruz. It could be a long tournament for Los Tiburones who will definitely need to improve if they want to stay up. Chivas were held by Toluca in a somewhat disappointing 0-0 draw. The second stalemate of the weekend.

And finally, Club America were defeated in the Azteca by Queretaro. It was a worrying result for Club America boss Miguel Herrera as America were unable to find the net for the second time in a week against Queretaro. An 87th-minute penalty from former Whitecaps striker Camillo Sanvezzo proved to be the difference. It has been quite a remarkable career so far for Camillo Sanvezzo. He started out at Corinthians but moved to Malta as he joined Qormi FC. He earned a move to South Korea after he scored 24 goals in 22 games but his spell in Asia wasn’t successful. Canada was his next destination after a successful trial at the Vancouver Whitecaps. He scored 39 goals for them in 92 appearances before joining Mexican side Queretaro for 750k. The 28-year old forward has been a revelation since his signing and will be a key member of Queretaro’s squad this year.

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