In the most anticipated match of Week 7 in the Liga MX Apertura 2013 tournament, Club America hosted Morelia in a battle of two of the best teams in the league. America went into the game undefeated and having accumulated 10 points in four games while Morelia were league leaders with 13 points through six games played on their part. In the end of the game, America joined Morelia as co-joint leaders after a 3-1 win in a game where Luis Angel Mendoza was the player of the game.
The first half was a quiet one with each team having one clear goal scoring chance. America’s best chance was set up by Mendoza who sent a crossing pass into the penalty area which was cleared away by Morelia defender Joel Huiqui before it reached its intended target Narciso Mina. But three minutes into the second half, Mendoza would once again prove to be provider of America’s scoring chance as he delivered a well paced crossing pass which this time reached its intended target, Raul Jimenez, who headed the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
After having proven his worth as provider of scoring opportunities, Mendoza decided to be a little selfish and look to try and score a goal. He would score the first of his two goals in the game at the 61st minute. Mendoza made a run from the left wing into the penalty area where he would hit it past Morelia keeper Federico Vilar to make it 2-0. With the game at 2-1, Mendoza would seal a win for America and score the second of the game when he made a run into the penalty area from the right wing and found himself one on one against the goalkeeper. He hit a floating shot that found its way into the back of the net to round off a great game for Mendoza.
America once again looked like a well oiled-machine and were rarely put under much pressure or severely tested aside from a few scoring opportunities created by Morelia. Once again, the play of Luis Angel Mendoza is what is the story as the 23 year old has once again shown why he has played his way into the starting eleven for the team coached by Miguel Herrera. What Mendoza has brought has been an ability to either beat defenders with his dribbling skills, an ability to be a good link up player with his defense, and his ability to deliver quality crosses like he showed on Saturday.
Mendoza’s revelation and rise from expected squad player to now undisputed starter speaks well of Herrera in identifying a player who was not well known by many Mexican soccer observers. Just as importantly, it speaks well of the player who has risen to the occasion of playing for a big club, has won the respect of his coach and teammates through his work in practice and has gone out and validated himself as a player worthy of playing for Club America with his play.