Pumas UNAM

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Liga MX wrap: Mozo magic helps Pumas win thriller vs. Necaxa (video)

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Week Two of the Apertura is nearly complete, and the soccer authorities deemed us worthy of a thriller at Olympic Stadium.

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Pumas 5-3 Necaxa

This game was bonkers, and featured one of the slickest nutmegs we’ve seen in some time.

More on that later, but a 1-1 halftime deadlock gave way to a half-dozen markers in a frenzied second half.

Necaxa’s Matias Fernandez saw his 53rd minute goal answered two minutes later by Carlos Gonzalez. Martin Rodriguez and Alan Mozo made it 4-2 by the 76th, but Necaxa again had a quick fire answer in the 78th through Victor Davila’s second of the night.

Gonzalez bagged his second in the 81st to effectively put the match to bed, but what a game.

Mozo’s goal was legitimately smooth.

Club America 3-0 Atlas

Guido Rodriguez’s double made sure Week 1 was just a stumble, as America came back with an inspired performance to move to 1W-1L on the Apertura.

Elsewhere
Tigres 0-0 Tijuana
Guadalajara 0-1 Cruz Azul
Morelia 3-1 Santos Laguna
Puebla 2-1 Toluca
Queretaro 1-0 Pachuca
Lobos BUAP 2-0 Veracruz
Leon 0-2 Monterrey

Mexican soccer team refuses to carry anti-drug gang banner

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Players from Mexican soccer team Pumas refused a request to carry an anti-drug gang banner onto the pitch during a weekend game.

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The Pumas are based at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, known as the UNAM.

Two non-students were shot to death on the campus last week and prosecutors say the killings were apparently part of a dispute involving drug dealers who operate openly at the university.

University Rector Enrique Graue told local media Tuesday that university officials had asked the players to carry a banner reading “Narcos out of the UNAM” at a Sunday match against the Chivas of Guadalajara.

The sports newspaper Record says several players balked, citing fears for their security.

The university instead projected the message on the scoreboard.

Erick “Cubo” Torres leaves Houston for Pumas

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Welcome to your new home, Erick. Hope it goes a little better than your last stop.

Once among the most desired recruits on the Major League Soccer circuit after scoring 15 goals for lowly Chivas USA in 2014, Erick Torres is leaving the league to join Pumas UNAM.

He’ll head home to Mexico to rebuild an international career which stalled at four caps until this summer’s Gold Cup moved Torres to seven El Tri appearances.

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The move is somewhat of a surprise given the Houston Chronicle headline Tuesday: “Erick Torres says he intends to fulfill his Dynamo contract.”

Torres scored 14 goals in 27 matches for Houston last season, raising his value after not scoring an MLS goal in 2015 and 2016 combined (22 matches). Five of his goals, however, were penalty kicks.

VIDEO: Fans of Mexican teams brawl in “friendly game”

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This was clearly not a friendly game.

And that was just in the stands.

A game to benefit the United Soccer Talents Foundation was abandoned at half time as fans took to the pitch and brawled in Santa Ana, California.

The “friendly” game was played between former members of rival clubs Club America and Pumas at Eddie West Field as fans of the Mexico City clubs converged.

At half time those fans fought in the stands and then ran onto the pitch to exchange punches as the widespread brawl lasted for 30 minutes, with local law enforcement then arriving to control the situation.

According to NBC LA, five people have been arrested on suspicion of assault and assault with a deadly weapon.

Click play on the video above to see the ugly scenes play out.

WATCH LIVE: Tigres, Pumas battle; Tijuana faces uphill battle

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The Liguilla-Apertura quarterfinals continue on Saturday night, as two sides will ultimately punch their tickets into the competition’s final four down in Mexico.

First, Tigres and Pumas will go toe-to-toe at the Estadio Universitario as the two clubs look to create separation and advance into the semifinal round. The two sides currently sit level at 2-2 after an enticing first leg in Mexico City, which saw Fidel Martinez’s second-half finish give Pumas a solid chance coming into the second match.

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The evening’s second matchup will require a massive turnaround from the hosts as Tijuana looks overcome a 3-0 deficit against Leon. Including Wednesday’s first leg meeting, Leon has won three of the last five meetings against Tijuana.