By DAVID MOSSE
The highly anticipated clash between Chivas de Guadalajara and Pumas UNAM on Saturday failed to live up to the billing, ending in a disappointing scoreless draw. It was the marquee matchup in the fourth round of Mexico's Apertura Championship, with the two teams sporting perfect records entering the match.
Marco Fabian made headlines throughout the globe last week following his sensational performance against Barcelona, but the Pumas defense held him mostly in check. The same was true of striker Omar Arellano, while goalkeeper Alejandro Palacios was solid when called upon.
His counterpart Luis Michel had a fairly uneventful evening thanks to some terrible finishing from Martin Bravo, who squandered three opportunities.
Pumas is now closing in on 30 years without a victory over Chivas in Guadalajara, but Guillermo Vasquez's side did knock off Los Rojiblancos in the semifinal of the last Clausura Championship en route to winning the title, so Chivas was frustrated by failing to exact revenge.
Here’s a rundown of all the weekend scores from some of Latin America's top leagues:
Humberto Suazo and Dario Carreno found the back of the net in the final five minutes to give Monterrey a well-deserved 2-0 win over Morelia Saturday, as Victor Manuel Vucetich's side bounced back from a disappointing loss to Pumas. Cesar Delgado and Neri Cardozo impressed for the hosts, who dominated throughout.
Tigres finally notched its first win of this Apertura Championship, picking up a 1-0 victory over Estudiantes Sunday thanks to a goal from Israel Jimenez early in the second half following a pinpoint cross from Manuel Viniegra. Hector Mancilla squandered a number of chances to double the advantage, but Los Felinos held on.
Cruz Azul 2, Atlante 1
Queretaro 2, Pachuca 1
Santos Laguna 1, Tijuana 3
Puebla F.C. 1, Jaguares 2
Toluca 0, FC Atlas 0
The biggest challenge for Velez Sarsfield this season will be overcoming the absence of Ricky Alvarez, who was sold to Inter-Milan in the summer, but Ivan Bella provided a big spark after coming on in the second half of the 1-1 draw with Godoy Cruz on Saturday. Bella found the back of the net to cancel out a goal from Ruben Ramirez.
Juan Roman Riquelme suffered through a miserable afternoon in the awful pitch at Bahia Blanca, as Olimpo held Boca Juniors to a scoreless draw in the opener for both sides in this Apertura Championship. Former San Lorenzo goalkeeper Agustin Orion made his debut for Boca and came up with a big stop early in the second half.
Mario Regueiro claimed the only goal of the match, even though replays seemed to indicate the ball deflected off defender Gonzalo Bazan, as Lanus knocked of San Lorenzo. The goal came midway through the first half following a cross from Cesar Carranza and represents an excellent start to the season for Gabriel Schurrer's side.
Atletico Banfield 0, Atletico Rafaela 2
Union 1, Argentinos Juniors 1
CA All Boys 1, Belgrano 1
Arsenal Sarandi 1, Atletico Colon 2
Newell’s Old Boys 0, Estudiantes 0
Independiente-San Martin (Postponed)
Tigre 1, Racing Club 1
Flamengo surged into first place in the standings with a dramatic 1-0 win over Coritiba on Saturday. Ronaldinho failed to find the back of the net, but he turned provider in the closing moments with a perfect cross for substitute Jael to fire home the winner. Flamengo remains unbeaten this season and has won four in a row.
Internacional won the battle of struggling teams, knocking off Cruzeiro 3-2 on Sunday in what looks to be the final league match in charge for interim boss Osmar Loss. Andres D'Alessandro, Andrezinho and Leandro Damiao were the goalscorers for Inter. Cruzeiro has lost four straight, but Joel Santana received a vote of confidence.
Santos escaped the relegation zone with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Ceara, snapping a three-match losing streak in the process. Without the suspended Neymar, Muricy Ramalho's side struggled to impose itself, but striker Borges found the back of the net midway through the first half for his eighth goal of the season.
Palmeiras 0, Gremio 0
Atletico Mineiro 1, Figueirense 2
Atletico Paranaense 1, Corinthians 1
America Minas Gerais 3, Fluminense 0
Bahia 2, Atletico Goianiense 1
Botafogo 4, Vasco 0
Avai 1, Sao Paulo 2
What did you think of this weekend’s results? Disappointed by the Chivas-Pumas match? Is Flamengo the top team in Brazil?
Share your thoughts below