Mexican Primera Review: What's With All The Clean Sheets?


The Mexican Primera may be one of the most entertaining leagues in the entire world, but even its teams are capable of having an off week. This was one such week.

The Mexican Primera is a league that often features fluid, attacking football and lots of goals. The team with the fewest goals allowed who has played all 11 rounds of the 2010 Apertura tournament is Morelia, with nine. The three top teams in the league, Cruz Azul, Santos, and Monterrey have all allowed in the double-digits of goals. However, this week saw nine teams keep clean sheets, six of which came as a part of three 0-0 draws.

It was a surprising (and some would say unwelcome) departure from the open and exhilarating style of football that has become the trademark of the Mexican Primera. The 11th round wasn't completely without excitement and intrigue, though, as some teams picked up surprising results to shake up the race for the Liguilla.

Jaguares resumed their hot streak with a 2-0 win over Atlante as Jorge Rodriguez and Danilinho provided goals. Atlante were never in the game as the Chiapas side dominated the proceedings. Jaguares' hot run of form appeared to be coming to an end after a bad 0-0 draw against Tecos last week, but this win puts them into an automatic Liguilla spot.

That Tecos team suffered a bad loss this weekend as they were annihilated by Tigres, 5-0. That win puts Tigres back into a wild card Liguilla race on goal differential. This year's race appears so tight that goal differential could play a massive part, so Tigres' current +7 margin is a massive help to their cause. Striker Itamar Batista scored a brace in this game, taking him to eight goals on the campaign.

The once sturdy Pumas defense continued their inexplicable collapse, allowing three goals in a 3-2 loss to Pachuca. Surprisingly, after an atrocious start that resulted in the firing of their manager, Pachuca are back into the fight for Liguilla places and only two points from the top spot in Group 2. Despite being without strikers Edgar Benitez and Herculez Gomez, Pachuca had no problem finishing their chances. One of their goals was provided by a fill-in for those two players, 18-year-old striker Victor Mañon. As poor as Pachuca started, any team that has arguably six viable options at striker has to be considered a contender for a run in the Liguilla.

And then there were the 0-0 draws. All three occurred on Sunday, making for a day of fairly boring football. The match between Morelia and Santos was a 0-0 draw of the entertaining variety, but the same cannot be said for the America-Monterrey and Toluca-Cruz Azul matches. America and Monterrey were just poor from start to finish and Cruz Azul will be disappointed at the lack of chances they created after Diego Novaretti was sent off at the end of the second half for Toluca. As a result of these scores, Morelia retains their place as the best defensive team in the Mexican Primera and the other five teams retain their automatic Liguilla places. Although, Toluca and America will be disappointed that they have allowed Pachuca back into the conversation.


Necaxa 1, Puebla 0

Jaguares de Chiapas 2, Atlante 0

Quaretaro 2, Chivas de Guadalajara 2

Pachuca 3, Pumas 2

Tigres 5, Estudiantes Tecos 0

Atlas 2, San Luis 1

Morelia 0, Santos 0

Toluca 0, Cruz Azul 0

America 0, Monterrey 0

Player of the Week

Striker Dario Cvitanich provided a goal and an assist for Pachuca in his team's 3-2 victory over Pumas. Due to the score lines in the week's other big games, how much the result meant to Pachuca, and the fact that Pachuca was without two of their best strikers, Cvitanich's performance was almost certainly the standout performance of the week.

Dud of the Week

The entire Cruz Azul attacking force deserves this distinction for failing to create scoring chances despite playing 50 minutes against 10 men. It's hard to pin it on one particular player, but when Cruz Azul are failing to create, the blame needs to fall on Gerardo Torrado and Chaco Gimenez.

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