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Benitez nets hat trick as America goes top

America joined Tigres and Atlas at the top of the Mexican Clausura as Cristian Benitez scored a second-half hat trick to help America to a 4-2 comeback win at Pachuca.

The home side took a two-goal lead in the first 50 minutes with goals from Angel Martinez and Fernando Cavenaghi, but Benitez began his scoring binge in the 61st to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

He scored his second goal of the match four minutes later, and after Daniel Arguello was sent off for a foul inside the penalty area, Raul Jimenez put America in front from the penalty spot.

Benitez completed his hat trick in the 77th to seal the win, which moves the club level on 32 points with Tigres and Atlas at the top of the league.

Tigres lost for the second time this season on Saturday, dropping a 1-0 result at home to Monterrey, whose goal arrived in the 47th minute through Leobardo Lopez, while Atlas was held to a 1-1 draw at Puebla as Jonathan Laserda scored the equalizer in the 84th minute for the home side.

The lone match on Friday saw Morelia claim a 2-1 win over Toluca as Hector Mancilla tallied the winning goal in the 68th minute.

Santos fell three points behind the leaders after losing 1-0 at Cruz Azul to a goal from Christian Gimenez, Leon's Edgar Pacheco netted the lone goal in the 79th minute of his team's 1-0 victory over Atlante, San Luis topped nine-man Tijuana, 1-0, UNAM got two goals from Javier Granados in a 3-0 victory over Jaguares and Queretaro secured a 2-1 win at Guadalajara despite playing the final 63 minutes with 10 men.