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Surprises in Apertura Standings

September 02, 2003|Jim Barrero | Times Staff Writer

Five games into the Mexican league's Apertura championship, the standings seem to be upside down.

Found near the bottom are traditional powers such as Club America, Chivas of Guadalajara and defending champion Monterrey.

On the other end, Irapuato, a team from Central Mexico that was promoted to the country's top division this season, continued its surprising start with a 2-0 victory over Tigres of Nuevo Leon on Sunday. Argentina's Ariel Gonzalez and Mariano Monroy scored goals to push Irapuato's record to 3-0-2.

Irapuato, which leads Group 4 and the overall standings with 11 points, had to play a man down the last 33 minutes after defender Victor Saavedra picked up his second yellow card.

Tigres, which suffered its first loss and has 10 points, still leads Group 2, ahead of Cruz Azul. The "Cement Mixers," as Cruz Azul is known, were 2-0 losers to Santos of Torreon on goals by Hector Altamirano and Mexico international forward Jared Borgetti.

Meanwhile, Monterrey (0-2-3) and Club America (0-3-2) remained winless after battling to a 2-2 tie Saturday. They are two of four teams -- Atlas and Queretaro are the others -- that have yet to win this season.

Chivas (four points) remained at the bottom of the group led by Irapuato after a 1-0 loss to Morelia on a goal by Chilean Reinaldo Navia.

Individually, Navia's countryman, Luis Ignacio Quinteros, scored three goals to lead Puebla to a 4-1 victory over Jaguares of Chiapas.

Kleberson Injured

Kleberson will sit out Brazil's two World Cup qualifying games after dislocating his right shoulder during Manchester United's 1-0 loss to Southampton on Sunday.

Brazil Coach Carlos Alberto Perreira has called in Santos midfielder Elano to replace Kleberson on the roster for Sunday's game at Colombia and the Sept. 10 game against visiting Ecuador.

English Moves

Everton added four players to its roster on the last day for moves in the English Premier League before the next transfer window in January.

Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers was sent to his former team on loan for the rest of the season. Everton also signed 20-year-old Scotland international striker James McFadden from Motherwell in Scotland, former England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn from Leeds and Irish midfielder Kevin Kilbane from first-division Sunderland.

Quick Passes

Ajax Amsterdam has agreed to loan Romanian international defender Cristian Chivu to AS Roma for four months while the Italian club tries to pay off a $19.7-million transfer fee for the player.... Brazilian World Cup winner Roque Junior, who also helped AC Milan to the European Champions Cup last spring, will play for Leeds United in the English Premier League for one season after the defender received his work permit.... Andriy Shevchenko scored two goals to lead AC Milan to a 2-0 victory over promoted Ancona in its Italian league opener Monday.... AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf and Glasgow Rangers midfielder Ronald de Boer were left off Coach Dick Advocaat's Dutch squad for Euro 2004 qualifiers against Austria and Czech Republic over the next 10 days.... Brazilian defender Kleber has been loaned to Germany's Hannover 96 for one year, his Sao Paulo team, Corinthians, announced.

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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