Morelia edges Puebla 1-0 in Mexican soccer

    13 de enero de 2018

    Morelia, Mexico, Jan 13 (efe-epa).- A first-half goal by Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz proved to be just enough offense for Morelia, which topped Puebla 1-0 at home to provisionally take over first place in the Mexican soccer league's Clausura championship ahead of Saturday's play in Matchday 2.

    Ruidiaz, the top goal scorer in two of the last three league championships, put the ball in the back of the net off a pass from Chilean midfielder Diego Valdes to give his side its first win of the new season.

    Emboldened by its Matchday 1 victory on Jan. 5 over Tigres UANL - winners of the Apertura championship, the first of the 2017-2018 season - Puebla came out aggressively at Estadio Morelos and created several scoring chances in the area over the first 30 minutes of Friday night's game.

    But Morelia was more opportunistic and took the lead thanks to Ruidiaz's tap-in goal from point-blank range.

    The hosts then made their slight lead hold up in the second half by hunkering down on defense and working the clock effectively.

    They now lead the standings with four points, slightly ahead of Tijuana based on goals scored.

    In other action Friday, Tijuana defeated Necaxa 1-0 thanks to a powerful strike by Luis Chavez from outside the penalty box in the 24th minute.

    Tijuana was superior in the first half, dominated ball possession and nearly took the lead in the ninth minute, but Argentine striker Gustavo Bou failed to convert a golden scoring opportunity.

    Martin Barragan created danger on the other side of the field in the 15th minute, but that was the only clear chance Necaxa had in the first half.

    In the second half, Necaxa was able to mount more threats against a Tijuana side content with its 1-0 advantage but lacked the precision needed to put the ball in the back of the net.

    Matchday 2 will continue on Saturday with Apertura champion UANL taking on Santos Laguna and Guadalajara squaring off against Cruz Azul. Three other games also are on tap: America versus Pachuca, Leon v. Toluca and BUAP v. Queretaro.

    On Sunday, UNAM will host Atlas and Veracruz will welcome Monterrey.