MEXICO CITY, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Cruz Azul took sole command of the Mexican championship with a 1-0 win over Monterrey, while Guadalajara’s 1-0 defeat at Santos Laguna kept them in relegation danger.
Midfielder Christian Gimenez scored in Saturday’s home win with a fine volley in the 23rd minute as Cruz Azul went a record five matches without conceding a goal since the start of the championship a month ago.
The Blue Machine have 11 points, one more than Atlas and Tijuana in the Clausura, the second of two championships in the season.
“It’s hard to create chances against us and we have a great goalkeeper,” said Cruz Azul coach Luis Fernando Tena referring to Mexico keeper Jesus Corona.
”That means we have a solid defence and that teams are built from the back forwards.
“(But) we had to take some risks in search of those goals we are in need of,” added Tena, whose side have scored only three in their five matches.
Title holders America are three points off the pace after a 2-2 draw at Morelia on Saturday.
Leon, who won both championships last season, picked up their first win on Sunday, beating UNAM Pumas 3-1 away to climb off the bottom of the standings.
Guadalajara are in mid-table with seven points but two places from the bottom of the relegation standings based on teams’ average points over three seasons.
The team finishing bottom of the relegation table will go down at the end of the Clausura in May. (Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires. Editing by Patrick Johnston)