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Monday, August 22, 2011
MEXICO: Gunshots end Santos-Morelia

By Scott French

Soccer Shootings
Fans of soccer club Santos take cover between the stadium seats as they hear shooting outside the stadium in Torreon, Mexico.

Scenes of terror and turmoil unfolded at Santos Laguna's Estadio Corona in the most newsworthy event in the Mexican Primera Division last weekend, as gunshots rang out during the Guerreros' showdown with Morelia.

Players dropped to the turf, then scrambled off the field, and fans escaped from the stands and onto the stadium floor or ducked under seats after a series of explosions -- from outside the Torreon stadium, it turned out -- went off late in the first half Saturday.

Nobody at the game was hurt, but the stadium was evacuated and the match suspended amid great chaos. No word yet on when it will be rescheduled.

According to Mexican media, the trouble began when a pickup truck, allegedly carrying drug-cartel members, sped through a checkpoint and was chased by police. Once the truck was cornered, outside the stadium, a gun battle broke out. Part of the stadium afterward was pockmarked by bullet holes. 1. UPGRADE AT TIGRES: UANL Tigres has one of the deepest, most talented sides in Mexican soccer and -- under former Chivas USA youth director Dennis te Kloese, who has brought to suburban Monterrey a handful of very promising players from Southern California -- possibly the country's best development set-up, although those connected to Pumas UNAM and Guadalajara can make convincing arguments otherwise.

No question, the club will contend for the Primera Division's fall Apertura title, especially once the attack catches up, as it should, to Brazilian manager Ricardo Ferretti's masterful defensive plan.

Tigres has never shied away from spending for top players, and after getting a taste of success last spring, with a top-of-the-table finish that was followed by first-round playoff defeat, it knows a first league title since 1982 is in reach.

Thus last week's move to bring in Mexican national team starting left back Carlos Salcido on loan from English Premier League side Fulham -- he couldn't crack the London club's lineup -- and acknowledgment that Giovani Dos Santos, perhaps the brightest of Mexico's young stars, had been targeted.

Salcido made his debut in a 1-0 win over San Luis, with Israel Jimenez scoring in the 86th minute, that left Tigres (2-0-4) in fourth place. Dos Santos, under contract with London-based Tottenham, will be tougher to reel in. Spurs has listed him at $14 million, more than Tigres (or America, also interested) is willing to part with, and the English club doesn't appear keen on a loan deal.

2. THE GIANTS: Guadalajara's youngsters certainly have impressed over the first third of the fall season, and now they're on top for real. A 2-1 triumph over two-time defending Apertura champ Monterrey gave Chivas (4-0-1) a one-point edge on Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul and a two-point lead on UANL Tigres -- the only other unbeaten side.

Guadalajara, which went ahead on Cesar Delgado's 24th-minute goal and doubled the advantage on Marco Fabian de la Mora's penalty kick four minutes later, handed Monterrey (3-3-0) its third loss in four games since the Rayados scored eight goals in two victories to open the season.

Chivas' archrival, America, has struggled the past half-decade to live up to its talent, but its last two results -- a 2-2 draw at Tigres and Sunday's 5-2 romp over Atlas, with Christian Benitez netting a hat trick over the final 21 minutes plus stoppage -- might signal the Aguilas are finding their footing. We could have a better idea after Saturday's game at Pachuca.

3. HERC & BEAS: Herculez Gomez's goal might have been the most rewarding of his career. DaMarcus Beasley's led to a needed upset over the league's top team. Both American attackers had reason to celebrate.

Gomez's 90th-minute goal lifted Estudiantes Tecos, in its first game after Raul Arias replaced Jose Luis Sanchez Sola as manager, to a 2-1 triumph over Pachuca, which let the Los Angeles-born forward go earlier this summer.

The Student Owls, from suburban Guadalajara, are chiefly looking to survive to play another year in the top flight, but they've won three of four to sneak to sixth in the standings at 3-3-0.

Beasley, who joined Puebla this season after seven years in Europe, netted his first Mexican League goal, a header, in the 24th minute as the Camoteros toppled previously unbeaten Pumas UNAM, 2-1. Puebla (2-2-2) climbed to ninth. Dayro Moreno has scored in four successive games and has Tijuana's last three goals, but his latest wasn't enough against Cruz Azul. The Cementeros rallied for a 2-1 win with two second-half goals. ... Toluca bounced back from last week's debacle against Pachuca with a 2-1 comeback win over last-place Atlante. ... Carlos Ruiz scored his first goal for Veracruz, which won its first Liga de Ascenso game of the season, edging Correcaminos, 1-0. ... La Piedad and Pumas Morelos remained 1-2 in the second-tier Liga standings despite their first defeats. Ismael Valadez's hat trick carried Altamira past Pumas' second team, 3-1; Guillermo Clemens' goal in the final minute carried Celaya to a 2-1 win over La Piedad. ... Leon rallied from a two-goal deficit to draw, 2-2, with visiting Toros Neza in a showdown between the Nos. 3 and 4 clubs.
PRIMERA DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Jornada 6
Friday
Estudiantes Tecos 2 (Zamogilny 49, H. Gomez 90), Pachuca 1 (Ayovi 22)
Saturday
Cruz Azul 2 (Perea 48, E. Villa 67), Club Tijuana 1 (D. Moreno 22)
Gallos Blancos de Queretaro 1 (C. Bueno 74), Jaguares de Chiapas 2 (og C. Perez 53, Rey 56)
Guadalajara 2 (Marco Fabian pen. 28, A. Medina 78), Monterrey 1 (C. Delgado 24)
Santos 0, Morelia 0, suspended, 40th minute, gunfire
UANL Tigres 1 (I. Jimenez 86), San Luis 0
Sunday
Puebla 2 (A. Zamora 13, Beasley 24), Pumas UNAM 1 (J. Cortes 75)
Toluca 2 (N. Calderon 53, I. Brizuela 66), Atlante 1 (Bermudez 46)
America 5 (A. Reyna 44, V. Sanchez 53, C. Benitez 69, 77, 92+), Atlas 2 (Welcome 10, F. Santos 81)

Standings: 1. Guadalajara 13 points; 2. Pumas UNAM 11; 3. Cruz Azul 11; 4. UANL Tigres 10; 5. Monterrey 9; 6. Estudiantes Tecos 9; 7. Toluca 9; 8. America 8; 9. Puebla 8; 10. Santos Laguna 7; 11. Pachuca 7; 12. Gallos Blancos and Jaguares 7; 14. San Luis 6; 15. Tijuana 4; 16. Atlas 4; 17. Morelia 3; 18. Atlante 3

Relegation percentage: 1. Tijuana (5 games/4 points) 0.8000; 2. Estudiantes Tecos (74/80) 1.0811; 3. Gallos Blancos (74/81) 1.0946; 4. Atlas (74/82) 1.1081; 5. Atlante (74/85) 1/1486; 6. Jaguares (73/84) 1.1507. Atop the list: 1. Cruz Azul (74/134) 1.8108; 2. Monterrey (74/133) 1.7973; 3. Santos Laguna (72/115) 1.5972

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Jornada 7
Friday
Puebla at Morelia, 6:10 p.m.
Saturday
Monterrey at Santos, 3 p.m.
Toluca at Jaguares, 3 p.m.
America at Pachuca, 5 p.m.
Guadalajara at San Luis, 6:45 p.m.
UANL Tigres at Atlas, 6:45 p.m.
Estudiantes Tecos at Atlante, 7 p.m.
Sunday
Cruz Azul at Pumas UNAM, 10 a.m.
Gallos Blancos at Club Tijuana, noon

LIGA DE ASCENSO
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Jornada 4
Friday
Altamira 3 (Valadez 2, 20, 84), Pumas Morelos 1 (S. Medina 56)
Necaxa 3 (Quatrocchi 35, Lojero 72, J. Palacios 79), Indios de Ciudad Juarez 2 (Borboa 74, Bernardez 86)
Saturday
Veracruz 1 (C. Ruiz 58), Correcaminos 0
Merida 0, Lobos BUAP 0
Dorados de Sinaloa 3 (Figoli 14, M. Valladares 57, P. Torres 76), Leones Negros 3 (Cano 35, 44, Folle 94+)
Leon 2 (J. Gonzalez 46, G. Ramirez 89), Toros Neza 2 (D. Mejia 11, Luciano Emilio pen. 16)
Celaya 2 (Bonzatti 3, Clemens 90), La Piedad 1 (Nurse 27)
Sunday
Cruz Azul Hidalgo 1 (V. Garcia 35), Irapuato 0

Standings: 1. La Piedad 9; 2. Pumas Morelos 9; 3. Toros Neza 7; 4. Leon 7; 5. Irapuato 6; 6. Altamira and Dorados 4; 8. Indios 4; 9. Lobos BUAP 4; 10. Necaxa 4; 11. Correcaminos 2; 12. Leones Negros 2; 13. Cruz Azul Hidalgo and Merida 1; 15. Celaya 1; 16. Veracruz 0

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Jornada 5
Friday
Indios at Correcaminios, 6:30 p.m.
Merida at Leones Negros, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday
Dorados at Pumas Morelos, 2 p.m.
Altamira at Irapuato, 5 p.m.
Celaya at Veracruz, 5 p.m.
Sunday
Necaxa at Toros Neza, 10 a.m.
Leon at Lobos, 10 a.m.
Cruz Azul Hidalgo at La Piedad, 10 a.m.

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Group Stage, Round 1
Tuesday
B:
Santos Laguna 3 (J. Enriquez 28, og Bica 51, C. Suarez 74), Real Espaņa (Honduras) 2 (E. Delgado 42, Lalin 68)
A: Alajuelense (Costa Rica), 1 (McDonald 77), Morelia 0
Wednesday
D:
Herediano (Costa Rica) 0, Monterrey 5 (Carreņo 21, 22, 35, J.M. Corona 36, de Nigris 56)
C: Pumas UNAM 0, FC Dallas 1 (M. Chavez 66)

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Group Stage, Round 2
Tuesday
D:
Seattle Sounders at Monterrey, 5 p.m.
Wednesday
B:
Santos Laguna at Isidro Metapan (El Salvador), 7 p.m.
Thursday
C:
Pumas UNAM at Tauro (Panama), 5 p.m.
A: Motagua (Honduras) at Morelia, 7 p.m.