International Football - Gimenez nets hat-trick in Cruz Azul win

Reuters - Sun, 22 Aug 17:52:00 2010

Midfielder Christian Gimenez was almost substituted after a nasty knock on the head before his hat-trick gave Cruz Azul a 3-2 away win at Chiapas Jaguars in the Mexican first division.

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Gimenez clashed heads with Oscar Razo in the fifth minute of Saturday's Apertura championship match and had to come off for treatment.

Back on the pitch, the Argentine scored three goals from outside the box, the first with a free kick, as Group Three leaders Cruz Azul recovered from 2-1 down.

"I think the knock did me good, I'm going to have to get more," Gimenez joked.

"It was my turn (to score), I'm conscious I needed that because it had been some time since I last scored, but what reassures me is the team is functioning well.

There was no such luck for Pachuca's Paraguay World Cup forward Edgar Benitez.

He collapsed unconscious during Pachuca's 2-2 draw at home to Monterrey and although he came round quickly he was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

It was Argentine coach Pablo Marini's first match in charge of Pachuca, the CONCACAF champions, after compatriot Guillermo Rivarola resigned a week ago.

Pachuca are third in Group Two in which America can overtake leaders Toluca with a win or draw at Queretaro on Sunday.

Title holders Toluca won 1-0 away against Atlas at the Jalisco stadium in Guadalajara with a goal scored from outside the box by Brazilian-born former Mexico midfielder Zinha three minutes into stoppage time.

The Guadalajara Chivas, the western city's giants, thought they might quickly overcome the disappointment of their defeat by Internacional of Brazil in the Libertadores Cup final on Wednesday when striker Omar Bravo put them ahead against Atlante after 16 seconds.

However, goals by Argentine Nicolas Torres and Peru's Johan Fano gave Atlante a 2-1 win, their first of the season, at their Quintana Roo stadium in the Caribbean resort of Cancun.

Santos Laguna's perfect start of four consecutive wins came to an end in a 1-0 defeat away to Tigres UANL with Brazilian defender Juninho scoring, but they remain top of Group One.


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