Liga MX’s action continues this weekend behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Chivas v. Rayados headlining Saturday’s quartet of fixtures.
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Chivas, who sit fifth in the table and are four points removed from leaders Cruz Azul, enter the bout on a three-game winning streak. 20-year-old starlet striker J.J. Macias has recorded four goals in the last seven games, giving Chivas much-needed boost after a slow start to the season.
Rayados, on the other hand, sit dead last with zero wins to their name. The Concacaf champions, despite dealing with a severe championship hangover, are just days removed from punching a ticket to the Copa MX final.
Action, however, kicks off at Estadio Alfonso Lastras, as middle-table sides San Luis and Puebla clash. Saturday’s opener is followed by Juarez’s visit to El Volcan and Pumas’ visit to Leon.
Saturday’s Liga MX schedule
Atletico San Luis v. Puebla — 7:00 p.m. ET
Tigres UANL v. Juarez — 9:00 p.m. ET
Leon v. Pumas UNAM — 9:00 p.m. ET
Guadalajara v. Monterrey — 11:00 p.m. ET
Rogelio Funes Mori is having himself quite a month.
Monterrey’s 28-year-old Argentine forward scored against Al-Sadd and Liverpool at the Club World Cup, then came back to Mexico and did one better.
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Mori left his feet to chest trap a stoppage time loose ball, then blasted a bicycle kick home to win the first leg of the Liga MX Apertura final over visiting Club America on Friday.
It’s an exquisite bit of balance and coordination, his second-straight league match with a goal.
Mori has 15 goals and an assist in 24 matches for Rayados this season. He’s closing in on 100 for his time with the club, and it’s a safe bet the century mark will be breached soon enough.
Rogelio is the twin brother of former Everton and current Villarreal defender Ramiro Funes Mori.
Leonel Vangioni’s wonder goal may be a warning sign for Liverpool as Monterrey beat Al-Sadd 3-2 in a Club World Cup quarterfinal.
Vangioni, the former River Plate and AC Milan man, laced an aesthetic marvel to open the scoring, the ball rocketing around the back of the goal.
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Another ex-River Plate man, Rogelio Funes Mori, scored before halftime to insure Monterrey’s advantage. Al-Sadd outscored Monterrey in the second half, but couldn’t get a late equalizer.
Monterrey meets Premier League powers Liverpool in a Wednesday semifinal. The Reds are bringing their best side to the tournament despite a League Cup date on Tuesday.
Liga MX has never put a team in the Club World Cup Final.
The other semifinal will see Brazil’s Flamengo meet Saudi side Al-Hilal.
Nicolas Sanchez’s 25th minute penalty on Wednesday gave Monterrey its fourth CONCACAF Champions League title via a 2-1 aggregate win over UANL Tigres.
The 1-1 second leg draw followed last week’s 1-0 away win for Rayados.
Winners in 2011, 2012, and 2013 prior to this campaign, Rayados now have the fourth-most titles in CCL history.
It’s a very rough third CCL final loss in four years for UANL.
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Marc-Andre Gignac scored for Tigres in the loss.
After sneaking past Honduran side Alianza 1-0 in the first round, Monterrey hit its stride with a comfortable quarterfinal defeat of Atlanta United and a straight-up demolition of Sporting KC in the semis.
Tigres’ former West Ham man Enner Valencia led the tournament in scoring, while Sanchez paced the champions with five.
An MLS team has not won the tournament under its current name, the league last lifting a trophy via the LA Galaxy in 2000.