Opportunities taken and others missed
Boca Juniors and Tijuana were the weekend’s big winners in the Americas, capitalising on their rivals’ slip-ups to move clear in Argentina and Mexico respectively, while Atletico Mineiro passed up a similar opportunity in Brazil.
FIFA.com has those stories and more in its latest weekly round-up of all the league action across the Americas.
Argentina: Boca take advantage
With the exception of Boca Juniors, who have not lost since the opening day of the season, Matchday 7 of the Torneo Inicial brought little joy for Argentina’s big teams. Bucking the trend, Los Xeneizes beat Independiente 2-1 to stay top and avenge their Copa Sudamericana elimination at the hands of El Rojo, who have yet to win this season and lie bottom of the relegation averages table. Boca’s goalscorers were Santiago Silva and Juan Sanchez Mino.
It was a different story for River Plate, who went down 2-0 to Velez Sarsfield and have now gone four games without a win. Racing Club lost 1-0 to Estudiantes, while Newell’s Old Boys won at San Lorenzo by the same scoreline, Ignacio Scocco notching the only goal to become the league’s leading marksman with five. That win moved the Rosario outfit up to second, just a point behind Boca and one clear of Velez in third.
Mexico: Tijuana takeover
A 2-1 home win over Atlante moved Tijuana to the top of the table at the expense of Toluca, who lost their unbeaten record in going down to Jaguares, while Cruz Azul also suffered their first reverse of the season against America, which means there are no undefeated teams left in the league. The weekend’s other notable result was Monterrey’s 3-2 win at Puebla, their first away success against their northern rivals in 21 years.
Brazil: Missed opportunities
Brasileirão leaders Fluminense went down to a surprise 2-1 defeat to bottom club Atletico Goianiense on Saturday, leaving the way open for their championship rivals to close the gap. None of them could take full advantage, however. Second-placed Atletico Mineiro went down 1-0 at Nautico, while Gremio, who celebrated their 109th anniversary at the weekend, took the lead at Flamengo through Marcelo Moreno but had to settle for a draw following a fine equaliser from the promising midfielder Adryan.
MLS: Thierry on song
Thierry Henry’s dead-ball skills proved invaluable in New York Red Bull’s 3-1 home win over Columbus Crew. Not content with scoring his side’s equaliser nine minutes in, the Frenchman flighted in the corner that allowed Dax McCarty to put the New Yorkers into the lead, and then capped it all by curling an injury-time corner-kick straight into the Crew net.
Third in the Eastern Conference, New York are the only side in the league yet to lose at home, while Henry now has 13 goals for the season. That leaves him six behind top scorer Chris Wondolowski, who was on target yet again for Western leaders San Jose Earthquakes in their 2-0 victory at Chivas USA.
Habitual title candidates Cerro Porteno and Libertad played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Clausura in Paraguay. After going 2-0 up, Libertad found themselves a goal down on the hour mark but hit back ten minutes from time through the experienced Sergio Aquino to claim a draw. The two remain some way off the pace being set by leaders Guarani, who won 1-0 at Olimpia.
In Chile the top-of-the-table meeting between surprise package Rangers and Universidad de Chile ended 2-2, La U earning a share of the spoils thanks to Luciano Civelli’s stoppage-time strike. Tied on 21 points, the two remain out front in the Clausura, though Deportes Iquique closed to within two points after beating Universidad de Concepcion 1-0, their fifth straight win.