Liga MX C2018: Best and Worst of Jornada 2
This Jornada, we saw more strong performances from León and Pumas, Pachuca on the right end of a comeback, and a much better showing from home sides. While only two hosts won last week, 5 emerged victorious this time around. Here are the Futbol20 Best and Worst of the weekend in Liga MX:
Best Team Performance: León
They signed Donovan.
Okay, but really, aside from having a solid week in the PR department and making a few room shaking transfers, León had an excellent showing on the field, too. Elías Hernandez, who seems to be involved in every goal La Fiera has scored in the past 6 months, opened the tally in the 29th minute with a simple but clean strike past Luis Garcia’s near side. Toluca would equalize after halftime due to a Yarbrough error (more on that later), but León would reclaim control from that moment onward. They dominated the rest of the game and just three minutes later, Luis Montes put home a header (set up by Elías of course) to take the lead. Fernando Navarro’s golazo in the 74th closed the game out for La Fiera, who cruised through the rest of the match and seized first place in the table.
There is definitely a bit of an arms race going on in Liga MX right now, with clubs like América spending big to try and catch the Monterrey duo. León’s approach, signing Giles Barnes and Donovan, doesn’t necessarily seem like the best idea from an on-field perspective, but it certainly increased León’s profile. Maybe they’re happy with the players they have, and like their chances to upset a Tigres or a Rayados. Or maybe, for you conspiracy theorists, they’re waiting out this period of dominance by those two and are trying to remain relevant in ways other than trophies.
Player of the Week: Nico Castillo
Nico Castillo is good. Like, really, really good. He put up two goals and an assist on Sunday afternoon against Atlas, and already has four goals in this young season. Castillo opened the scoring in the 6th minute, showing off his world class control as he brought down an incoming cross with ease before slotting the ball right past the keeper. His defensive pressure later forced a turnover that led him to set the table for a Matías Alustiza tap-in. Castillo closed out his day with a converted penalty in the second half. Some people thought that it would take more than a healthy Nico Castillo to bring Pumas back to relevance; but so far it seems he is all they need.
Goal of the Week: Fernando Navarro
There were quite a few contenders this week, including Ravel Morrison’s free kick and Rafael Baca’s long range strike, but Fernando Navarro’s chip wins out by just a nose. Navarro’s goal is extra impressive when you consider that the 28 year old isn’t a goalscorer; he’s a right back by trade. Take a look for yourself:
Biggest Blunder of the Week: William Yarbrough
The former US international made some decent saves for León in their 3-1 win over Toluca, but his performance was tainted by his incredible error that gave Toluca their only goal of the match. Yarbrough failed to corral a simple ball not once, but twice, and was punished for it.
Worst Team Performance: Lobos BUAP
In the Apertura, BUAP surprised a lot of people (myself included) by staying somewhat in the playoff hunt and avoiding total embarrassment. So far this year, we’ve seen the BUAP many of us expected to see last season. BUAP get my thumbs down this week for a weak showing in their home opener against Querétaro. BUAP fell 2-0 to the Gallos, and conceded the second goal when they were up a man. The stats in this one are a bit misleading; BUAP dominated possession and shots, but they had very few actually threatening chances. Regardless, a 2-0 home loss to a Querétaro side that aren’t particularly good is never a positive.
(Videos Retrieved from LigaMX.net)