Benitez nets hat trick as America tops Cruz Azul

America moved to within two points of the top spot in the Mexican Clausura over the weekend as Cristian Benitez scored a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Cruz Azul.

Benitez scored his first goal midway through the opening half and Cruz Azul was reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute when Israel Castro was sent off.

America went up 2-0 shortly before halftime with another Benitez tally, while he completed his hat trick in the 69th after teammate Paul Aguilar was sent off eight minutes prior.

Tigres remains at the top of the league by one point after a 1-1 draw with Morelia that saw Lucas Lobos put Tigres ahead in the first half, only for Carlos Ochoa to score four minutes into stoppage time to earn a point for his side.

Atlas moved to within a point after a 1-0 home win over Tijuana as Omar Bravo scored the lone goal in the third minute before the visitors had two players sent off in the final five minutes.

In the lone contest on Friday, Herculez Gomez scored a pair of first-half goals to lead Santos to a 3-1 win at Jaguares, Wilberto Cosme's third-minute goal was enough for Queretaro to down Monterrey, 1-0, while Puebla earned a 1-0 win at Leon courtesy of Diego de Buen's second-half strike.

Angel Martinez scored the winning goal in the 71st minute as Pachuca held off San Luis, 2-1, and UNAM played out a 1-1 draw with Guadalajara as the two sides traded first-half goals.