MEXICO CITY -- It might only be the second week of the 2017 Clausura, but the details this weekend left behind are enough to whet fans' appetites for the rest of the season.
Here are five storylines from an exciting weekend in Mexico:
1. Atlas surprises Tigres and Liga MX
For coach Jose Guadalupe Cruz and captain Rafa Marquez, beating Liga MX's defending champions, Tigres, at Estadio Jalisco wasn't a huge surprise, but for the rest of the league it was. Atlas was one of four clubs who didn't lose a home game last season. With Cruz at the helm, Los Rojinegros managed their home-field advantage correctly but failed to capitalize in away games, causing them to miss out on the 2016 Apertura's Liguilla.
Against Tigres, Matias Alustiza, who was brought in from Puebla to become the team's killer inside the box, scored his first goal for Atlas. The stadium erupted, but the cherry on the cake was Clifford Aboagye's Liga MX debut; every time he got a touch on the ball he succeeded, causing more than one Atlas fan to feel optimistic about what lies ahead for the Guadalajara side.
Aboagye spoke to ESPN FC after Atlas' 2-0 victory over Andre-Pierre Gignac's Tigres and reflected on his first weeks on Mexican soil:
Ghanaian Clifford Aboagye talking after an impressive debut for @atlasfc.
- Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) January 15, 2017
2. A cat and dog steal the show in Pachuca
In Estadio Hidalgo, a dog and cat invaded the pitch, but it was the former who stole the show -- running across the pitch and galloping like a wild horse on the loose. After the game, Pachuca even gave the furry friend a dressing room tour, while Chiapas' coach Sergio Bueno said that he felt like "it was the 1970s all over again," with animals interrupting the flow of the match.
Beyond the dog's moment of fame, Chiapas and Pachuca gave a great 90-minute performance of intense football, with both sides creating numerous scoring chances. It came down to the goalkeepers, 36-year-old Moises Munoz and 43-year-old Oscar "Conejo" Perez, to impress. Had it not been for Munoz's stops, the final score would have been more lopsided in Los Tuzos' favor. But it can also be said that had it not been for Perez's saves, Chiapas would have stolen at least one point from Estadio Hidalgo.
It's worth highlighting that Los Tuzos haven't suffered a single home loss in their last 22 Liga MX games.
Por si andaban con el pendiente, el perrito hasta conoció el vestidor ���� pic.twitter.com/eZaf8MhJxY
- Club Pachuca (@Tuzos) January 15, 2017
3. Xolos celebrate their 10th anniversary in style
In the 59th minute of the match between Club Tijuana and Puebla, the scoreline was 2-2. But two minutes later, U.S. international Paul Arriola unleashed a rocket from his right boot to give Xolos the lead. From that point on, Tijuana never looked back against a weak Puebla side who committed a series of childish defensive mistakes.
Paul Arriola's golazo. https://t.co/zWqHnZrixd
- Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol) 14 de enero de 2017
The game finished with a 6-2 victory for Tijuana, and the final score was appropriate for a night of party that even included a musical performance by Banda Limon at half-time.
What Tijuana has accomplished after a decade in Mexican football has been remarkable, but it's still unknown how far Miguel "Piojo" Herrera's team will go this season.
4. Castillo's first Liga MX goal gifts Pumas an important win
By the time Pumas and Cruz Azul headed into half-time, Estadio Olimpico Universitario had reached its maximum capacity, however there were still lots of spectators looking for seats. It was a rare scene, but one that suggested that the fan bases for Pumas and Cruz Azul are expectant and hopeful for what's to come for their clubs.
Although Nicolas Castillo's first goal in Mexico gave Pumas the win, Cruz Azul's valiant display with 10 men left La Maquina's fans pleased. Coach Paco Jemez not only had to deal with Gabriel Penalba's sending off in the 37th minute, but also with Francisco Silva's unexpected injury 26 minutes in after coming onto the field at the start of the second half.
- LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) January 15, 2017
Towards the end of the match, Castillo ruined his home debut by getting red-carded, but what should leave Pumas' fans worried is that even though "Paco" Palencia's team played with one extra man for a significant part of the game, it was Cruz Azul who commanded the game and deserved better.
Jemez is transforming Cruz Azul's attitude, and it should be noted that it will take time to see La Maquina's best version, especially since newcomers like Martin Rodriguez and Martin Cauteruccio haven't played a full game since arriving to Mexico. Cauteruccio hasn't even made his Liga MX debut.
5. Monterrey-Chivas and Toluca-America offer jaw-dropping golazos
In a match that saw two players sent off for Chivas, Monterrey was only able to draw 2-2 vs. El Rebano Sagrado. Rodolfo Pizarro and Dorlan Pabon scored the best goals of the evening. Pizarro's first for Chivas simply couldn't have been any better.
- LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) January 15, 2017
Toluca, in its return to Estadio Nemesio Diez, put two goals past Club America to win 2-1. Both of Toluca's goals were amazing, as if Los Diablos Rojos were only allowed to score beautiful goals on Sunday. Gabriel Hauche and Jesus Mendez's works of art helped their team finish on top of the table after two weeks of play.