Atlas respond to La Volpe attack

MEXICO CITY - Atlas replied to a stinging public attack from their own coach Ricardo La Volpe by thrashing Necaxa 4-1 in the Mexican Clausura championship. Uruguayan Gonzalo Vargas scored twice while an Edgar Perez free kick and a penalty converted by Argentine forward Bruno Marioni (pictured) completed Saturday's win for the Guadalajara-based team. Federico Insua replied for Necaxa. The outspoken La Volpe, who led Mexico to the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup, surprised public opinion last week when he criticised the quality of his squad. "We don't have any players who can tip the balance of a match," he said. He later reaffirmed his remarks and added: "The players have to adapt to me, not the other way around. "I'm 57 years old and I can't change my style. My team plays the way I want and if they can't understand it, their agents should go and look for another team as we can always sell them." The win put Atlas second in Group Three with 20 points from 13 games. Titleholders Toluca lost their unbeaten record in a 3-1 defeat at Pachuca. Chile forward Hector Mancilla put Toluca ahead in the 18th minute when he scored from close range for his ninth goal of the championship. But the Beavers hit back with three goals in half an hour after halftime. Paul Aguilar and Panama striker Blas Perez headed the first two and Gabriel Caballero scored the third from close range to hand Toluca their first defeat in 13 outings. Pachuca lead Group One with 27 points while Toluca stayed top of Group Three with 26. The 18 teams play each other once in the qualifying stage but are divided into three groups.