Club America top Atlas 2-1 in Clausura opener

EFE

Mexican-league defending champion Club America defeated Atlas 2-1 at the start of Clausura 2019 Matchday 2 action, which will continue on Saturday with a slate of five games.

Friday night's contest at Jalisco Stadium was the first of the new championship for America, who secured a record 13th Liga MX title by winning the Apertura 2018 playoffs in December.

The first half saw goal-scoring opportunities at both ends of the field, with Atlas' Anderson Santamaria squandering an excellent chance in the area in the fifth minute and America's Cecilio Dominguez failing to convert at close range off a free kick in the 21st minute.

Although the pace of play slowed at the beginning of the second half, America got on the board in the 58th minute when Henry Martin Mex scored off a pass from Renato Ibarra after an error by defender Irving Zurita.

Dominguez then made the score 2-0 in the 69th minute when he raced 70 meters with the ball and scored on a shot from outside the area that left net minder Jose Hernandez flat-footed.

Atlas pulled one back as time was expiring on a powerful right-footed blast by Osvaldo Martinez.

America have moved near the top of the standings with the win and are among a group of teams that are three points behind league-leading Lobos BUAP (six points), who have a record of 2-0-0 after going on the road and defeating Veracruz 1-0 on Friday night.

Atlas (three points) have a record of 1-0-1.

Five games are on tap for Saturday (home team listed first): Monterrey-Leon, Cruz Azul-Guadalajara, Pachuca-Queretaro, Club Tijuana-Tigres UANL and Necaxa-Pumas UNAM.

Matchday 2 will conclude on Sunday when Toluca host Puebla and Monarcas visit Santos Laguna.

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