Montero heroics not enough
AROUND THE WORLD ...
Jefferson Montero scored a terrific hat-trick for Morelia but finished on the losing side as Toluca pinched a 4-3 away win in the Apertura.
Montero opened the scoring with a startling strike inside the first minute, curling in a right-footed shot from near the byline when a cross seemed his only option, scored again with a left-footed chip in the 41st minute, and sealed his treble with a dribble and unstoppable drive in the 75th minute.
But Toluca were never more than one goal behind, drawing level first when Pablo Velazquez clipped in a left-footed finish in the 39th minute, again in the 72nd minute when Richard Ortiz cracked in a 20-yard drive, and then for a third time in the 79th minute when Carlos Esquivel fired in from the spot, after a foul by Joel Huique gave away a penalty and resulted in a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal.
Toluca, with their one-man advantage, pushed for a winner that came right on 90 minutes when Edy Brambila scrambled the ball in left-footed from close range.
Santos Laguna, by contrast, won with 10 men as they edged out Cruz Azul 3-2.
But they were clinging on having been 3-0 in front when Oribe Peralta, who had scored twice, was dismissed on the hour.
Oswaldo Alanis put Santos Laguna in front after two minutes and a brilliant solo run and chipped finish from Peralta saw him double the lead, before stretching it out to 3-0 with a sublime strike into the bottom left corner. From 22 yards, he met a pass first time with the outside of his right boot and cracked the ball low into the net.
Peralta seemed unlucky to be dismissed, as he challenged for the ball but caught a defender with his studs, seemingly without a hint of malice, but it gave Cruz Azul hope and they pulled one goal back with a penalty from Christian Gimenez and a second when Joao Rojas headed home in the 79th minute.