Chivas Finally Win, Pumas Get Back on Track vs Santos

All three Mexico gold medalists returned to Chivas, including Miguel Ponce, leading them to their first win on the season. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

With nearly a third of the Apertura 2012 tournament in the books, Toluca has made it clear they are the best in Mexico with five straight wins and 15 points. From there, nothing is clear about the Liga MX table. Second through tenth spot remain separated by only three points.

Club Tijuana has managed to replicate last year's success and got a big 2-1 win over Tigres on Friday. Tijuana has been playing well at home, now with three victories in three contests in Estadio Caliente. Newly added striker Alfredo Moreno got his first goal of the year, while former Mexican National Team midfielder Fernando Arce continued his strong start with his third goal. Next week, Tijuana will travel to Estadio Azteca to face Club America who is scoring goals at will. This will be their biggest test on the season thus far.

In Mexico City, Pablo Barrera finally got his first goal for Cruz Azul to give his team a 1-1 draw against Leon. This was an interesting match, as both defenses are tough to score on. Leon, unlike Cruz Azul, have also found success on the offensive end, with 11 goals thus far. Cruz Azul has only scored four. At this point, Leon looks like the real deal and likely will be competing in the liguilla later this year. Cruz Azul will have to get Barrera more involved and help Mariano Pavone find his scoring touch if they want to ensure a playoff birth.

Jagures, Puebla, and Queretaro are the teams who are stuggling the most in Liga MX, and nothing changed this weekend. While Jaguares got their first point on the year with a 1-1 draw with Atlas, Puebla lost 3-0 to Morelia, and Queretaro was hammered 4-0 by Club America. All three clubs sit at the bottom of the Apertura table with 1 point each.

No one is really quite sure what's going on with Monterrey's start to the new season. While the majority of the successful 2011/2012 club remained intact, they have managed just one win so far. Two weeks in a row, Los Rayados have not been able to close out lesser quality clubs with consecutive 1-1 draws, most recently with Atlante. While Atlante probably will not compete for a playoff position, their newly added forward Esteban Paredes shares the goal scoring lead in Liga MX with four goals through five games.

In Torreon, reigning champion's Santos hosted struggling Pumas. Many tagged Pumas as a possibility to make a run at the championship after adding high profile scorers Emanuel Villa and Luis Garcia. While Garcia didn't play, Villa had a breakout game for Pumas, netting both goals in a 2-1 win on the road. It was Pumas' first win in Torreon since 2005 and could put the Mexico City club back on the right track. Santos now is winless in their last three and will try to turn things around in Pachuca this weekend while Pumas host Cruz Azul.

Chivas got out of the basement with a 1-0 win over San Luis to wrap up Saturday night's action. All three gold medalists were back in the starting lineup for the Goats, but it was youngster Carlos Fierro who stole the show and gave Chivas their first league win since March. Fierro was a late substitute and got the winning goal just three minutes later. Now that Chivas is back on the winning track, many believe the team could turn around their recent struggles and return to the liguilla this year.

The weekend finished up with Toluca hosting Pachuca as Sunday's only match. Toluca's Edgar Benitez got a goal in stoppage time to send his club to five straight victories to start the season. Pachuca made the most waves in the offseason, but Hugo Sanchez has been unable to get anything started with Los Tuzos. Spaniard Raul Tamudo doesn't have a single goal so far and Nery Castillo just got healthy. It's evident the team will need more time to gel, but Liga MX owners have little patience for losing, especially when big money is involved. While Toluca distanced itself from second place, Pachuca crept lower in the table and now is 14 out of 18 in the standings.

There are some great games next week in Liga MX; here's three to watch:

Morelia at Leon, Friday, 9:30 pm
Leon continues to be one of the stories to watch this season and have continued to play extremely well through five games. Morelia is always a quality opponent and this should turn out to be a good game.

Tijuana at Club America, Saturday, 5:00 pm
This is a battle of three and four in the standings, and should be a good fight in Estadio Azteca. Tijuana has proven they are good at home, but they'll need to stop America's potent offense on the road to prove they're a contender this year.

Monterrey at Chivas, Sunday, 5:00 pm
This is a game between two heavyweights in name, but both are struggling this season. Both clubs have only one win and both will be looking for three points. This game could prove to be a turning point for one of the two clubs.

In addition to all the Liga MX action, don't forget during the week the Copa MX is going on between first and second division teams in Mexico. It's remarkable that many of these games can be seen on ESPN 3 and several other channels each week. There have been some incredible results so far and the action will continue in Copa MX tonight.

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