(Update with quotes and match)
MEXICO CITY, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Monterrey thrashed León 5-1 on Saturday with an outstanding performance by Alfonso González, who scored a hat-trick and provided an assist on matchday seven of the Apertura tournament of Mexican soccer.
With the victory, the “Rayados” of Monterrey reached 16 points to momentarily position themselves as the general leader of the tournament.
“What a great night! Up the gang,” González posted on his Twitter account.
In the match played at the BBVA stadium in Monterrey, the local team took the lead after four minutes when Argentinean Germán Berterame finished off a pass from González in the small area, who scored the second goal after 34 minutes with a shot from head after center sent by the Argentine Maximiliano Meza.
Monterrey’s third goal fell two minutes later with another goal from González, who finished off a pass from Argentine naturalized Mexican Rogelio Funes Mori in the small area.
León discounted in the 49th minute with a powerful shot by Ecuadorian Byron Castillo at the entrance of the area.
Monterrey had the option of scoring the fourth goal in the 53rd minute via a penalty kick, but goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota saved Funes Mori’s shot.
González scored his hat-trick in the 70th minute with a shot before the goalkeeper came out after controlling a long pass.
Monterrey’s fifth goal came in the 87th minute when Berterame finished off by sliding into the small area after a pass from Uruguayan Rodrigo Aguirre with his head.
During the match, León generated several goal options that goalkeeper Luis Cárdenas avoided with showy moves.
“We didn’t know how many goals we were going to score, but what was always thought was to strengthen the offensive aspect. We are happy with what is being done, we will continue working, we cannot throw bells in the air, we have to go day by day”, he said the technical director of Monterrey, Víctor Manuel Vucetich.
In the other game on Saturday, Santos Laguna thrashed Cruz Azul 4-0 with goals from Argentina’s Marcelo Correa, Hugo Rodríguez, Eduardo Aguirre and Carlos Orrantia.
The day will be completed on Sunday with matches between Toluca-Tijuana, Atlético de San Luis-Necaxa, Pachuca-Tigres UANL and América-Bravos de Ciudad Juárez.
On Friday, Guadalajara extended its negative streak after losing 2-1 in its visit to Mazatlán.
On Thursday, the champion Atlas came from a goal down and beat Querétaro 3-1.
The match between Puebla and Pumas UNAM will be played on September 23 because the club from the National Autonomous University of Mexico is in Spain where on Sunday it will face Barcelona for the Joan Gamper trophy. (Report by Carlos Calvo Pacheco)