Tigres UANL were attacked by bottle-throwing Cruz Azul fans on
their arrival at the Estadio Azul for their opening match of the
Clausura championship on Saturday.
Mexico defender Carlos Salcido was hit by one of the
water-filled bottles though not badly hurt as security officials
were slow to react to the attack.
Inside the stadium, Tigres were given a better reception by
their hosts as the Cruz Azul players formed a guard of honour to
welcome the champions onto the field to loudspeakers blaring out
the message: "At Cruz Azul we know how to show recognition. Best
wishes champion Tigres."
The match ended 1-1 with both goals coming from Argentines.
Christian Gimenez put Cruz Azul ahead with a superb free-kick
into the top corner after seven minutes with fellow midfielder
Lucas Lobos equalising in the 71st minute.
Tigres were the better side and would have won but for some
brilliant saves by 'Blue Machine' goalkeeper Jesus Corona. Lobos
and Chilean Hector Mancilla also fired shots against the bar.
Guadalajara, who were favourites for the Apertura title
after topping the standings in the league phase before being
upset by Queretaro in the quarter-finals, crashed to a 1-0 home
defeat by Atlante at the Omnilife.
Atlante's new Ecuadorean signing Michael Arroyo scored the
only goal a minute before half-time, tapping in a pass from
Peruvian Andres Mendoza. Guadalajara had defender Patricio
Araujo sent off in the dying minutes.
America were the only one of Mexico's three big clubs to
taste victory. Ecuador striker Cristian Benitez made up for a
first-half penalty miss by scoring the opening goal in the 70th
minute of a 2-0 win at Queretaro.
Benitez's substitute Juan Medina scored the second in added-time as America, having revamped their management staff in a bid
to recover from their abysmal form in the Apertura in the first
half of the season, gave new coach Miguel Herrera a winning
Benitez could have put America ahead after half an hour at
La Corregidora but he was ordered to retake the penalty for
encroachment, having found the net, and his second effort was
well saved by goalkeeper Liborio Sanchez.
The Ecuadorean made amends when he scored from a pass by
fellow forward Matias Vuoso and shot across Sanchez inside the
Queretaro were without Uruguayan striker Carlos Bueno, who
top-scored for them in the Apertura but has moved to San Lorenzo
in Argentina, and conceded the second when Medina netted a pass
from Colombian central defender Aquivaldo Mosquera at a corner.
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