Liga MX Clausura 2018 : Best and Worst of Jornada 1
One week in the books, sixteen to go. As expected in Liga MX nowadays, most of the results were completely unexpected. We saw both Monterrey clubs stumble, and more than a few unlikely heroes in action over the weekend. Here are our winners and losers of the first Jornada:
Best Team Performance: Pumas
Pumas were awful last season, picking up only three wins en route to a last place finish. They won a grand total of ZERO games on the road. With their 3-2 comeback at Pachuca on Saturday, they’ve already done more away from home than they did all of last season. Led by a once again healthy Nico Castillo, Pumas pulled a goal back just before halftime, and added two more in the second period to claim a 3-2 victory. Castillo’s 2nd goal, which turned out to be the game winner, was set up by a beautiful backheel pass from Matías Alustiza. Many people were expecting a bounce-back year for Pachuca, which makes this win all the more sweeter for UNAM.
Player of the Week: Djaniny
Nico Castillo seemed to have this award locked up until Sunday night, when Djaniny put together a first half hat-trick against Lobos BUAP. As it turned out, all three goals were needed as BUAP did cut it to 3-2 just after halftime, before ultimately falling 4-2 to Los Guerreros. Djaniny, who scored just 4 goals last season, showed off his versatile skill set, scoring via header on the first, blasting it into the top right corner on the second, and calmly dribbling past the keeper on the third. It’s very early, but don’t be surprised if this is the prettiest hat-trick you see all season.
Goal of the Week: Henry Martín
There were a few good looking finishes this week, but none as beautiful as Henry Martín’s laser for América against Querétaro. In what turned out to be the only goal of the match, Martín popped the ball up to himself before blasting it past the helpless Tiago Volpi. See for yourself:
Worst Team Performance: Tigres
During the Apertura opener, Tigres destroyed Puebla 5-0 to kick off the championship campaign. This time around, in the reverse fixture, they stumbled out of the gate in January yet again, losing 2-1 at Estadio Cuauhtémoc. Obviously, Tigres have a few excuses working in their favor here. Yes, they had a short offseason because they made it all the way to the finals. And yes, it can be hard to get excited for a regular season game against Puebla after winning the biggest game in club history the last time you took the field, but Tigres have been here before. They’ve won three straight Aperturas, and not once have they won the first game of the following Clausura. So, for repeated failure on opening night, I have to give Tigres the thumbs down of the week.