Guaranies Abroad: Liga MX Clausura 2018 Week 1 Recap
— Francisco Velasco (@FranciscoEfV) January 8, 2018
There were some exciting games to kick off the Liga MX Clausura 2018 this past weekend and nine Paraguayan players were involved in five games across the league. One Guarani had 14 clearances while another provided three assists here is a full rundown of how every Paraguayan player in the Liga MX did in the opening weekend of 2018.
Two Paraguayan players started for Club Tijuana in its scoreless draw against Cruz Azul away from home. Juan Iturbe has been very disappointing since his arrival to the Liga MX in the Apertura 2017 from Serie A side Roma. He stayed consistent with that in this game as the Argentine-born winger was practically nonexistent in his 74 minutes of play for the Xolos.
Unlike Iturbe, his teammate Aguilar was spectacular in his return to Club Tijuana, sporting the captain’s armband in Xolos’ draw. The 30-year-old centre-back is coming back to the Xoloitzcuintles from Club America in a deal that sent three of Club Tijuana’s players to the Mexico City team. Aguilar played the entire match and finished the encounter with a whopping 14 clearances along with five interceptions, three tackles, a blocked shot, eight accurate long balls and a key pass.
Monterrey did not have an amazing start to the year with a 1-1 draw with Monarcas Morelia at home. Celso Ortiz played all 90 minutes and was solid defensively from his midfield slot with seven interceptions, five tackles, two clearances and eight of 15 duels won.
One of the less enticing games of this opening Liga MX weekend was the clash between Necaxa and Veracruz. Neither team seemed to take risks going forward resulting in a very stale performance by Necaxa striker Carlos Gonzalez in his 90 minutes of play.
— LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) January 8, 2018
“Osvaldito” had a magnificent performance in Santos Laguna’s 4-2 win against Lobos BUAP as he provided three assists. Two of the three assists came off set pieces, the first off a corner kick that found Djaniny Tavares’ head and the other a free kick that found Carlos Izquierdoz inside of the area. The 31-year-old’s other assist came via a through pass to Djaniny Tavares in between three of Lobos’ defenders. Martinez did not have the best Apertura 2017 tournament but was amazing in the Clausura 2017 and he may be returning to that form.
The 31-year-old fullback faced his former team this Sunday as Queretaro lost 1-0 against Club America at home. Samudio had a solid game with five interceptions, two tackles and six of 10 duels won in his 90 minutes of play.
“El Pajaro” could not do much in his 31 minutes off the bench to help Queretaro’s stagnant offense that struggles against Club America. The 30-year-old could receive more playing time as the season progresses if other players on Los Gallos Blancos continue to underperform.
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The 25-year-old defender was very solid for Club America in their triumph over Queretaro with eight clearances, two interceptions, a tackle and a blocked shot. Valdez will fight for a starting role with Edson Alvarez and Emanuel Aguilera as the season goes forward and it is unclear if he will continue to get minutes.
The Asunción native received very little playing time from Miguel Herrera off the bench for Los Azulcremas. Dominguez had no time to do anything in the dying minutes of the match against Queretaro and will need to do something impressive to receive more minutes especially now with Andres Ibarguen and Jeremy Menez on the team.