CONCACAF Champions League: Latest on MLS opponents Tijuana, Cruz Azul & Toluca in Liga MX
With the CONCACAF Champions League coming up in just a few short weeks, MLSsoccer.com takes a look at the opponents the LA Galaxy, Sporting Kansas City, and the San Jose Earthquakes will be facing when the tournament resumes. (Click here for the complete quarterfinal schedule.)
Club Tijuana (3-0 loss to Chiapas)
Tijuana had another rough go of it this week, losing to Chiapas 3-0 at Estadio Caliente. This was their first home loss in Liga MX in almost a year, a span of 13 games. Things got off to a poor start after Elio Castro was whistled for a handball in the opening 10 minutes and Carlos Ochoa was able to convert the PK to put Jaguares up 1-0. Chiapas scored two more goals in the first half, one for Ochoa and one for Luis Robles (no, not this one). Three Americans came on in the second half but to no avail and the Xolos could not claw back into the game. Tijuana have now conceded at least three goals in three of their last four games.
What it means for the Galaxy:
Chiapas were able to show the Galaxy that is was possible to defeat Tijuana in their stronghold of Estadio Caliente. Even a change in formation, from a 4-3-3 to a 5-3-2, could not jump start the Xolos season.
Cruz Azul (3-1 win at Querétaro)
La Máquina continued their incredible run of form by defeating a scrappy Querétaro side 3-1 on the road. Cruz Azul have now won their last seven games and continue to hold a three-point lead over Toluca for first place in Liga MX. Cruz Azul’s right back, Rogelio Chávez, scored two goals on Friday, one off of a penalty kick and another in extravagant fashion. Leading 2-1 in the 88th minute, Chávez launched a ball from midfield that landed in the back of the net, with some help from Querétaro’s goalkeeper. (video below)
What it means for Sporting Kansas City:
Cruz Azul have now won their last three away games by at least two goals and show no signs of slowing down. Sporting KC’s only solace may be that Cruz Azul have to face Toluca in a top-of-the-table showdown on Sunday, maybe the only team who has a shot to beat Cruz Azul in Liga MX right now.
Toluca (1-0 win over Guadalajara)
Speaking of Toluca, they faced an organized Chivas side at home on Sunday. Chivas conceded much of the possession, 66% to be exact, to Toluca but did not give up many clear-cut chances. Finally the in form Isaac Brizuela struck a beautiful ball from outside the box into the bottom right corner to capture the three points for his team. (video below)
What it means for the Earthquakes:
Brizuela has now scored in his last three games and Jordan Stewart will have his hands full with the San Jose-born winger. Toluca are five points clear of third place in the league and come into their showdown with Cruz Azul having only lost two of their last 14 away games in Liga MX.