Los Angeles Soccer: Luciano Emilio

MEXICO: Chivas! America! Clasico!

October, 18, 2011
It's big-game week in Mexico's Primera Division, which means it's Super Clasico time, and both of the really big boys -- Guadalajara and America -- come into the clash off impressive victories that followed challenging runs.

Marco Fabian de la Mora's hat trick and another pair from Erick Torres -- his first two of the Apertura -- sparked Chivas' 5-2 rout of Zapopan rival Estudiantes Tecos, the Goats' first win in six games and their first under new coach Fernando Quirarte's guidance.

America ended a seven-game winless streak with a 3-0 romp at Monterrey, the Aguilas' first win since Fernando Tena took charge last month.

Guadalajara, which had scored five goals in its previous 7 games, vaulted to third in the standings, just one point off the lead. America is still 16th but sits just three points from the playoff zone.

The Clasico, contested since 1943, is set for Sunday afternoon at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. America leads the all-time series, 73-69-63, but Chivas has won five of the last seven and has the better record in Mexican league play: 51-48-43.

Northern Mexico's biggest rivalry -- the Clasico Regiomontano, between crosstown rivals Monterrey and UANL Tigres -- also is this week, on Saturday at Tigres' Estadio Universitario.
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Former Galaxy standout Herculez Gomez has scored in four straight appearances and has six goals in just 577 minutes of action this season for Estudiantes Tecos.

He netted another in the Owls' 5-2 loss Saturday to Guadalajara and would have a dozen, scoring at this rate, if he were a full-time player.

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MEXICO: Tijuana's loss a promotion preview?

March, 28, 2011

Club Tijuana loses so rarely that every defeat is unexpected, except perhaps Saturday's at Irapuato.

The Strawberry Lashers (8-2-3), along with second-place Leon, have been the class of the second-tier Liga de Ascenso since the Clausura kicked off in January, and their 2-0 triumph over the Xolos -- on two Cuauhtemoc Blanco strikes -- kept them two points clear atop the standings, five ahead of third-place Atlante Neza and 10 above the playoff line.

Expect a rematch, possibly in the Clausura final and more likely in the promotion final. Tijuana, as winner of the (fall) Apertura title, is already in the final series and will play the Clausura winner for a spot in the Primera Division. Irapuato just missed out on an Apertura title-series showdown with the Xolos in December, losing to Veracruz in the semifinals after conceding twice in five minutes near the end of the second leg.

Saturday's victory was Irapuato's fourth in a row, fifth in six games and left it 6-1-1 in the last eight. Tijuana (5-2-5), which had San Diego's Joe Corona on one wing, had won its previous four and was unbeaten in 10, since a 1-0 surprise at Altamira in its Jan. 21 Clausura opener. The Xolos fell from third to sixth in the standings.

Tijuana's other loss since July? At Indios de Ciudad Juarez, 1-0, back on Nov. 6. The Xoloitzcuintles' overall record, playoff games included: 18-3-12.

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