Liga MX is full of superbly talented and intelligent footballers, particularly in the attacking positions, but unfortunately these players receive little coverage outside of North America. Therefore, Thomas Harrison has decided to highlight some of Liga MX’s genius’ in a series of articles, using screenshots. After looking Edwin Cardona last time, this article focusses on another Colombian, Avilés Hurtado.
Who is Aviles Hurtado?
28-year-old Avilés Hurtado is a versatile attacking player, currently playing for Chiapas in Liga MX. Somewhat of a late developer, Hurtado only made his debut in the Colombian league seven years ago, for América de Cali. After a couple of years in Cali, Hurtado moved to Medellín in 2011 to join another Colombian giant, Atlético Nacional.
Hurtado’s arrival in Mexico came before the 2013 Clausura (second-half of the season) as he moved to Pachuca. Avilés failed to make much of an impression for Los Tuzos though, as he started just five matches in the 2013 Clausura. The Colombian showed more of what he’s capable of during a loan spell with Chiapas in the 13/14 season, but was once again used sparingly when he returned to Pachuca for the 2014 Apertura (first-half of the season).
Fortunately for Hurtado, he transferred permanently to Chiapas in December 2014 and has thrived ever since. Ex-Mexico boss Ricardo La Volpe has built his side around Avilés, who operates in a floating number 10 role, and with 14 goals in 46 Liga MX games, plus plenty of assists, the decision has paid off greatly.
Hurtado’s pace, technical ability, movement off the ball and vision makes him one of Liga MX’s best creators, as well as being one of the most exciting players to watch in the division. Perhaps the best in the league at linking midfield and attack, Avilés has also benefitted from the partnership developed between him and striker Silvio Romero, who features heavily in these highlights.
Chiapas v León
The first highlight comes from September 2015, as Los Jaguares racked up their biggest league victory since 2012. Hurtado and Romero tore apart León’s defence, who were struggling in away matches at the time, as they scored five of Chiapas’ six goals between them. My favourite of the five goals came from Argentine Romero, who was set up Hurtado’s inch-perfect assist.
Played with the outside of his boot, Avilés bent his pass around the León defence, into the gap between the defence and keeper Christian Martínez.
The pass went straight into the path of the forward-running Romero, who had an easy finish.
Pumas v Chiapas
Pumas went into this 2015 Apertura game having won all six home games, all with clean sheets, that season. It was going to take something special to break down the Pumas defence, and that’s exactly what Hurtado and Romero produced.
With Hurtado about to receive possession, it didn’t look like much was on, but he was aware that Romero was looking to get in behind the Pumas centre-backs.
With the Pumas centre-backs stepping up to pressure the ball, it only took one, beautifully executed, touch to flick the ball into the space behind.
The touch set up a half-volley for Silvio Romero, and went on to hit a stunning strike into the top corner, ending Pumas’ lengthy home clean sheet.
Toluca v Chiapas
Finally, a goal from the Colombian, during the 1-1 draw at Toluca. Again, Romero is involved, getting the assist.
Hurtado’s pace, dribbling ability and probing passing means that he excels on the counter attack. This highlight is a great example of that.
He dribbled from within his own half to not far outside Toluca’s box, before finding the overlapping Romero.
Whilst Romero took the ball down the right, Hurtado moved towards the far post.
With Romero’s cross behind Avilés, he had to improvise, and did so superbly well. Connecting well with the acrobatic effort, Hurtado found the net with a stunning chilena.
Written by Thomas Harrison.
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