Los Angeles Soccer: Joaquin Del Olmo
That's not a misprint atop Mexico's Primera Division standings. Unfancied Jaguares, the Chiapas club that dropped 12 of 17 games and finished last during the spring Clausura, is, indeed, No. 1.
A 5-3 triumph Saturday over visiting America, with Edgar Andrade scoring two goals and setting up another, vaulted Jaguares (5-2-2) to the top spot, ahead of giants Cruz Azul and Guadalajara on goal difference, following a third successive victory.
Since dropping its first two Apertura matches, to Monterrey and Guadalajara, Jaguares has been Mexico's finest club, going 5-0-2 to climb from 18th -- last -- to 16th to 12th to sixth to fourth to first.
Previous leader Guadalajara (5-2-2) did its part, losing to Puebla, and No. 2 Tigres (4-1-4) suffered its first loss, a 1-0 decision at Atlante.
Jaguares also leapt past Cruz Azul (5-2-2), which toppled Monterrey, 2-1, in the week's featured match.
- THE TOP 3
1. ANOTHER CHANGE AT AMERICA
America's disastrous campaign finally hit bottom -- or close enough.
The Aguilas' loss at Jaguares cost technical director Carlos Reinoso his job, no surprise, and club legend Alfredo Tena has been brought in and asked to make things right.
There's plenty wrong at the Mexico City giant, which has won just one of its last eight league games -- and that over last-place Atlas -- and sits 16th of 18 clubs with the worst defensive record in the Apertura.
Reinoso, who took over for Manuel Lapuente last January after America opened last spring's Clausura with a 0-2-1 mark, was facing the ax when he submitted his resignation following the defeat in Tuxtla Gutierrez.
The Xolos, through San Diego's Joe Corona, toppled Irapuato, 2-1, Saturday afternoon to claim promotion to the Primera Division in front of 33,000 fans at Estadio Caliente.
The crowd went wild as the club's dream of ascension from the second-tier Liga de Ascenso was realized.
Corona scored in the 29th minute and fed Mauro Gerk for an other goal in the 32nd as the Xoloitzcuintles -- Mexican short-haired dogs -- responded to referee Oscar Macias' failure to reward an obvious goal just a few minutes earlier.
Irapuato got its goal in the 38th, an own goal, with Tijuana defender Alejandro Molina knocking home an in-swinging free kick Margarito Gonzalez.
La Trinca (the Strawberry Lashers) were without Mexican legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who suffered a knee injury in Wednesday's first leg, a scoreless draw.
Tijuana, which won the fall Apertura title and went 24-6-15 in the combined Apertura/Clausura season, was the superior team over the two-game series, which followed another two-game series between the clubs in the spring Clausura final. Irapuato won that one, forcing the promotion final.
It's a massive boost to the region and to Tijuana's identity as a major Mexican city, and Southern California soccer fans stand to benefit. The country's big clubs -- America and Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and Pumas UNAM, Monterrey and Toluca, Morelia and Pachuca -- will play real, league matches just a short drive away, with the biggest foes, America and Chivas, possibly at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.