32 Flags is pleased to bring you coverage of the Copa MX, the domestic cup of Mexico, and we will be following the Cup games until a champion of the Apertura season is decided. In case you aren’t familiar with Mexican soccer, the Copa MX is composed of teams from the Ascenso MX and the Liga MX (the second and first divisions of Mexico, respectively).
A few details about the structure of the Copa Corona MX (Corona beer sponsors the cup):
- The Copa MX is disputed twice a year in a Apertura and Clausura format that is similar to the league season configuration followed by the Liga MX and Ascenso MX.
- All teams in the Liga MX who are not participating in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League, which are América, Queretáro, Tigres, and Santos, are eligible to play.
- All teams in the Ascenso MX, with the exception of FC Juárez and Cimarrones, are participating in the tournament. No official reason was given for the exclusion of these two teams.
- The beginning of the tournament is composed of a group stage comprised of seven groups. In each group, there are two teams from Liga MX and two teams from the Ascenso MX. Each team in the group will play each other twice, one at home and one away.
- Group winners advance to the championship stage automatically. The best second-placed team also advances to the championship stage to form an eight-team knockout playoff round to determine the champion.
With that said let us recap the first leg of the first round in Copa play.
- Puebla, the winner of the Clausura 2015 Copa MX, is qualified to enter the tournament and begin their journey to defend their title.
- 14 games were played over the span of two days and 34 goals were scored in these matches.
- In a wild game, Toluca manhandled Necaxa 4-2. Necaxa got off to a great start scoring in the first two minutes, but a hat-trick by Fernando Uribe earned him the Player of the Match award as he led his team to victory.
- Chivas and Cruz Azul both got over disappointing losses suffered in league play by triumphing in the Cup, El Rebaño beat Mineros de Zacatecas 2-1 meanwhile La Maquina beat Venados 1-0.
- A few upsets to report as Ascenso MX Murciélagos beat Liga MX side Dorados 2-1 (although Dorados is the most recent promotion winner) and Alebrijes also did away with Pumas UNAM by the same score.
- American born player Paul Arriola scored a goal for Xolos de Tijuana (a popular team for Yanks to play in) helping his team defeat Zacatepec, 2-1.
- Speaking of Yanks abroad, León goalkeeper William Yarborough is back between the sticks of the Liga MX side, lending a helping hand in their 2-1 victory over Atlético San Luis.
- Two Liga MX side struggled to find the net as both Atlas and Puebla couldn’t get one in, but luckily for them their opponents couldn’t find the back of the net either as both matches finished in nil-nil draws.
- On the subject of draws, two Liga MX sides also managed to tie against Ascenso teams as Pachuca battled with Atlante to finish 1-1. Meanwhile, Morelia had their hands full with Coras and came from behind to tie 2-2.
Golazos of the Week (Copa Edition):
Paul Arriola – Xolos de Tijuana.
Nifty footwork by Amando Moreno and the smart decision to leave the trailing ball to Paul Arriola leads to a magnificent team goal by Xolos.
Emmanuel Tapia – Murciélagos de Los Mochis.
Wow, the bend Tapia gets on this ball is insane. Goal of the Copa so far.
Mauro Cejas – Monarcas Morelia.
“El Pitu” Ceja’s free kick might have been deflected on it’s way to the net, but this goal to bring the game level for Monarcas was still clutch.
Atlético San Luis – 1 (Othoniel Arce 17’ [p])
León – 2 (Miguel Sabah 55’, Carlos Peña 90’+)
Pachuca – 1 (Jonathan Urretaviscaya 80’)
Atlante – 1 (Jimmy Bermúdez 30’)
Leones Negros – 0
Atlas – 0
Chivas – 2 (Carlos Fierro 44’, Omar Bravo 80’)
Zacatecas – 0
Pumas UNAM – 1 (Silvio Torrales 79’)
Alebrijes – 2 (Alberto Ramirez 22’, Juan Muanel Cavallo 89’)
Lobos BUAP – 0
Veracruz – 2 (Oscar Salvador 21’, Diego Chávez 77’)
Tijuana – 2 (Paul Arriola 36’, José García 57’)
Zacatepec – 1 (Jesús Alberto Lara 76’)
Dorados – 1 (Héctor Raúl Mancilla 63’)
Murciélagos – 2 (Emmanuel Tapia 14’, Leandro Lujan 70’)
Chiapas – 1 (Daniel González 54’ [p])
Cafetaleros – 0
Celaya – 0
Puebla – 0
Toluca – 4 (Fernando Uribe 16’, 56’, & 75’, Enrique Luis Triverio 82’)
Necaxa – 2 (Jesús Isijara 2’, Jonathan Valdivia 30’)
Venados – 0
Cruz Azul – 1 (Jerónimo Amione 5’)
Correcaminos UAT – 1 (Ever Guzmán 38’ [p])
Monterrey – 3 (Jesús de Nigris 20’, Rogelio Funes 27’, Cándido Ramírez 60’)
Coras – 2 (Eduardo Fernández 24’, Miguel Nuñes 67’)
Morelia – 2 (Carlos Augusto Ochoa 28’, Mauro Cejas 37’)