Apertura 2017 Quarterfinals Game 2 Results: Morelia 2, Toluca 1

The second Quarterfinals Game 2 today wrapped up the Toluca-Morelia series, and it was maybe the most physical and hard-fought game of the year so far. The regulation score was 2-1 Morelia. All the goals were scored in the opening 15 minutes-Toluca took the early lead on Fernando Uribe’s 3rd minute goal, but Raul Ruidiaz quickly answered with a 5th minute goal, and in what set the tone for the remainder of the game Angel Sepulveda scored in the 15th minute on what clearly was a fuera de lugar no-call that should’ve denied Morelia the goal. From there it really got chippy, moreso as time wound down in the second half along with 5 minutes of extra time-as extra time started, Toluca got so fed up with the officiating that both head coach Hernan Cristante and assistant coach Jose Rangel both got Rojas! THEY GONE! Their offseason will be at least a week longer as a result. But Morelia didn’t get off scot-free, just after that Miguel Sansores was the victim of a bad back-induced flop by a Toluca player-and very good acting-and got a Rojas! HE GONE! The physicality and arguments, especially by Toluca, continued after the final whistle. With the 2-1 Morelia win, they tied at 3-3, away goals were 1-1, home goals were 2-2, so by virtue of being the #4 seed in the final standings over the #5 seed, Morelia advances to the semifinals. Tomorrow they will know who they will play, and they will be hoping for major upsets as they will need them to avoid Monterrey or Tigres in the next round.

Game Stats:
Goals-Fernando Uribe (Toluca, 3′, 2nd of playoffs), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia, 5′, 2nd of playoffs), Angel Sepulveda (Morelia, 15′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Nil
Corner Kicks-Morelia 7, Toluca 5
Amarillas-Toluca 3 (Santiago Garcia, 45′, Rodrigo Salinas, 63′, Rubens Sambueza, 74′), Morelia 2 (Gabriel Achiller, 25′, Sebastian Vegas, 74′)
Rojas-Toluca 2 (Hernan Cristante, head coach, 90+1′), Jose Rangel, assistant coach, 90+1′), Morelia 1 (Miguel Sansores, 90+4′)

Venue: Estadio Morelos, Morelia, Michoacan
Attendance: 26,094 (74.7% capacity)

Next up:
Morelia-TBA in Semifinals
Toluca-Clausura 2018 Tournament

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Apertura 2017 Quarterfinals Game 1 Results: Toluca 2, Morelia 1

The Apertura 2017 Gran Fiesta kicked off earlier tonight, with Game 1 of the 4-5 matchup, Toluca vs. Morelia. It looked like Morelia was going to steal a huge win on the road, but Toluca saved the best for last and rallied to stun Morelia 2-1 at home. The game was scoreless for the first hour-plus until Toluca made the grave mistake of giving Raul Ruidiaz a PENAL! in the 65th minute, which of course was converted for a 1-0 Morelia lead. But with regular time about to expire, Fernando Uribe saved the day with a 90th minute goal for Toluca to tie the game, then in the 4 minutes of extra time Pablo Barrientos scored the go-ahead goal for the home team. While Toluca will take an overall lead into Game 2, Morelia did get an important away goal for the early tiebreaker advantage-but they still have to win in order to have any chance to advance, and if Toluca scores a very rare away goal (they only scored 4 all season on the road in 7 games) then Morelia must win by at least 2 goals to advance. But given Toluca was the worst team on the road in the regular season, Morelia still, on paper at least, has the advantage.

Game Stats:
Goals-Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia, 65′, 1st of playoffs, Penalty Kick), Fernando Uribe (Toluca, 90′, 1st of playoffs), Pablo Barrientos (Toluca, 90+2′, 1st of playoffs)
Shots on Goal-Toluca 5, Morelia 2
Corner Kicks-Toluca 4, Morelia 4
Amarillas-Morelia 2 (Mario Osuna, 61′, Aldo Rocha, 76′), Toluca 1 (Jesus Mendez, 47′)
Rojas-Nil

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Diez, Toluca
Attendance: 15,799 (50.9% capacity)

Next up: Game 2 Saturday at Morelia

Apertura 2017 Week 17 Results: Toluca 3, Tijuana 1

In the first half of the season-ending Week 17 Sunday doubleheader, Toluca hosted Tijuana with a little less pressure thanks to clinching a playoff spot last night when Necaxa lost. As their home-dominant self this year so far, Toluca still would’ve gotten in today anyway thanks to an easy 3-1 win. Fernando Uribe scored 2 first half goals to give Toluca a 2-0 lead at halftime, and Jesus Mendez added a 3rd goal on a free kick in the 54th minute. Only a Gustavo Bou goal in the 57th minute spoiled a potential shutout. With the win, Toluca moves up to 4th in the standings for now, and will wait for today’s regular season finale between Santos & America to see where they wind up. If America loses or ties, Toluca will finish 4th and play America. If America wins, Toluca will be 5th and play Morelia.

Game Stats:
Goals-Fernando Uribe 2 (Toluca, 25′, 43′, 8th of tournament), Jesus Mendez (Toluca, 54′, 1st of tournament), Gustavo Bou (Tijuana, 57′, 7th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Tijuana 1
Corner Kicks-Tijuana 5, Toluca 2
Amarillas-Tijuana 2 (Victor Malcorra, 51′, Juan Lucero, 78′)
Rojas-Nil

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Diez, Toluca
Attendance: 20,269 (65,3% capacity)

Next up:
Toluca-TBA vs. America or Morelia in quarterfinals
Tijuana-Clausura 2018 Tournament

Apertura 2017 Week 16 Results; Toluca 1, Veracruz 0

In the final game of the week, Toluca looked to save it’s rapidly slipping-away season by trying to do something it hasn’t yet done all year-win on the road. Fortunately for them, their last road game of the tournament took them to Veracruz, a place where they have been quite successful. And that continued as Toluca finally got their first road win of the year, 1-0. Pedro Canelo scored the only goal in the 59th minute. The result means Toluca gets into the playoffs with a win in their final game, but a loss or tie means they need help. Too bad for them some of that help would have to come from Veracruz, they might be short-handed because of the 6 Amarillas they racked up and their finale is at one of the teams Toluca is trying to stay in front of-Cruz Azul. Working in Toluca’s favor is they finish at home as they will host Tijuana.

Game Stats:
Goals-Pedro Canelo (Toluca, 59′, 5th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Toluca 5, Veracruz 4
Corner Kicks-Toluca 4, Veracruz 2
Amarillas-Veracruz 6 (Jose Rivas, 17′, Leandro Diaz, 33′, Leonardo Velazquez, 43′, Jefferson Murillo, 67′, Guido Milan, 77′, Daniel Villalva, 92′), Toluca 1 (Rubens Sambueza, 40′)
Rojas-Nil

Venue: Estadio Luis Pirata Fuente, Boca Del Rio, Veracruz
Attendance: TBA

Next up:
Veracruz-at Cruz Azul (11/18)
Toluca-Tijuana (11/19)

Apertura 2017 Week 15 Results: Morelia 1, Toluca 0

In another potential playoff preview matchup, Toluca looked to firm up it’s playoff chances and extend their home-best record this year against Morelia, but the hosts’ recent struggles continued as they suffered their first home loss of the year 1-0. The only goal was scored by Diego Valdes in the 57th minute. Toluca had lots of chances near the end to tie it up, including a PENAL! in the TEN minutes extra time at the end of the game, but Pablo Barrientos was denied and as the game ended, Osvaldo Gonzalez handicapped Toluca next week with a Rojas! HE GONE! He’s out at least next week. The win moves Morelia into 3rd and greatly improves their playoff odds while Toluca is now only 2 points ahead of 8th place Cruz Azul and having to overcome their severe road woes next week while not getting upset at Veracruz. Morelia can actually return the favor today by helping Toluca Friday night as they host Cruz Azul.

Game Stats:
Goals-Diego Valdes (Morelia, 57′, 4th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Morelia 2
Corner Kicks-Toluca 6, Morelia 2
Amarillas-Toluca 3 (Jesus Mendez, 40′, Pablo Barrientos, 84′, Fernando Uribe, 90′), Morelia 2 (Emanuel Loeschbor, 85′, Mario Osuna, 90+5′)
Rojas-Toluca 1 (Osvaldo Gonzalez, 90+10′)

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Diez, Toluca
Attendance: 15,606 (50.3% capacity)

Next up:
Toluca-at Veracruz (11/5)
Morelia-Cruz Azul (11/3)

Apertura 2017 Week 14 Results: Tigres 3, Toluca 0

In another potential playoff preview matchup, Tigres hosted Toluca with both teams looking to improve on top 4 positions in the standings. It played out somewhat as expected, with the champs dominating the league’s worst toad team as Tigres blanked Toluca 3-0. Andre-Pierre Gignac opened the scoring with an 8th-minute goal, then about 25 minutes later all hell broke loose, starting when Tigres’ Javier Aquino inexplicably high-kicked a Toluca player with the ball in the face with his spikes. OUCH! Aquino immediately got a Rojas! HE GONE! More fireworks followed just before halftime as following Amarillas issued to Jesus Mendez, Toluca’s Ernesto Vega overcomplained and got his second of the game and thus a Rojas! HE GONE! With both teams playing 10 a side in the second half, Enner Valencia took control with 2 goals for Tigres, the second coming on a PENAL! The result potentially sets up a playoff rematch, with Tigres now in 3rd and Toluca in 6th due to losing tiebreakers with Morelia & Leon. That could very well change next week as Toluca hosts Morelia.

Game Stats:
Goals-Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres, 8′, 4th of tournament), Enner Valencia 2 (Tigres, 64′, 81′, Penalty Kick, 8th of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Nil
Corner Kicks-Toluca 2, Tigres 1
Amarillas-Toluca 4 (Ernesto Vega 2, 25′, 44′, Jesus Mendez, 42′, Osvaldo Gonzalez, 70′), Tigres 3 (Rafael De Souza, 10′, Gignac, 25′, Luis Rodriguez, 90+1′)
Rojas-Tigres 1 (Javier Aquino, 35′), Toluca 1 (Vega, 44′)

Venue: Estadio Universitario, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon
Attendance: 41,405 (98.8% capacity)

Next up:
Tigres-at Cruz Azul (10/28)
Toluca-Morelia (10/28)

Apertura 2017 Week 10 Results: Pachuca 2, Toluca 2

In the second game of the night, Toluca looked to at least briefly move back into second place and do away with some of its road woes at Pachuca. In the end the game went both ways as both sides played to an emotionally draining & intense 2-2 tie. Fernando Uribe scored first in the 23rd minute to give Toluca the early lead, but after the second half started Jose Martinez scored to pull Pachuca even. Victor Guzman’s goal in the 57th minute gave Pachuca a 2-1 advantage, then in the 74th minute Rodrigo Salinas tied it up with his first goal of the year. Toluca started to implode late starting in the 84th minute when Pablo Barrientos got the second of his 2 Amarillas on the night, meaning a Rojas! HE GONE! Then Toluca coach Hernan Cristante proceeded with nonstop protesting and the ref showed him the hand version of a Rojas! HE GONE! But Cristante did not leave the pitch, instead remaining and coaching the rest of the game. (Turns out it actually was assistant coach Oscar Velazquez sent off, was not clear from what I saw on TV and online) If precedent set by Guadalajara’s Matias Almeyda earlier this year holds, Cristante could be looking at a minimum suspension of 2 games tomorrow. The tie keeps Toluca in a tie for 2nd place in the standings for now, yet still winless on the road. Not good because they turn right back around and head to Tigres in a couple days.

Game Stats:
Goals-Fernando Uribe (Toluca, 23′, 6th of tournament), Jose Martinez (Pachuca, 47′, 2nd of tournament), Victor Guzman (Pachuca, 57′, 7th of tournament), Rodrigo Salinas (Toluca, 74′, 1st of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Toluca 1
Corner Kicks-Toluca 3, Pachuca 2
Amarillas-Toluca 4 (Efrain Velarde, 14′, Antonio Rios, 37′, Pablo Barrientos 2, 45+1′, 84′), Pachuca 1 (Erick Gutierrez, 71′)
Rojas-Toluca 2 (Barrientos, 84′, Oscar Velazquez, assistant coach, 84′)

Venue: Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo
Attendance: 15,135 (55% capacity)

Next up:
Pachuca-Puebla (10/21)
Toluca-at Tigres (10/21)