Chivas salvaged a 1-1 draw against Santos Laguna at the Estadio Chivas on Sunday afternoon for the fourth match date of the 2017 Clausura.
Coming off a 1-0 victory at Queretaro, Matías Almeyda and company were looking for some success at home. Chivas their previous home defense back in the third match date against Tijuana 1-0. For much of this encounter, it seemed as if the end result was going to be the same.
“Chepo” de la Torre’s squad managed to withstand the first half intensity of Chivas start much thanks to the heroics of Santos goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. Javier “Chofis” López worked his usual magic: busting out what looked like a back heel scissors pass as well as well timed through passes. Still, part of the problem up front was Alan Pulido and Rodolfo Pizarro’s inability to get on the same page. Pulido often left his position up front to hold up play on the flank and his teammates arrived too late to meet his service on a few occasions. To Santos’ credit, they were very defensively organized and turned away many crosses.
Defensively, Chivas contained most of Santos’ attacking efforts. Rodolfo Cota saved a 54th minute attempt by Santos leading scorer and defender Néstor Araújo. Orbelín Pineda, who was active all over the pitch as usual, tracked back on numerous occasions to stop Santos on the break.
A 76th minute red card to Santos’ Diego de Buen left them with ten men on the pitch. Chivas’ persistence paid off when their tempo went up a step and Rodolfo Pizarro notched in a header in the 93rd minute to salvage the draw. This score would pull Chivas level against Julio Furch’s 58th minute corner header that gave his side the lead. De la Torre was ejected and did not get to see the rest of the second half. Almeyda’s substitution, however, put in their best effort to turn the tide: Carlos Fierro frequently broke down the flank and was fouled to earn set pieces deep in enemy territory while Isaác Brizuela was instrumental in Pizarro’s goal-scoring play.
Chivas will have to improve for the sixth match date as they take on Atlas in the Clasico Tapatio at the Estadio Jalisco on Saturday, February 11th.
Here are the rest of ratings for Sunday afternoon’s squad:
Rodolfo Cota: 6
Oswaldo Alanís: 6.5
Jair Pereira: 6.5
Edwin Hernández: 7
Jesús Sánchez: 7
Orbelín Pineda: 7.5
Ángel Zaldívar: 5
Javier López: 7
José Vázquez: 5.5
Rodolfo Pizarro: 7
Alan Pulido: 5
Isaác Brizuela: 6.5
Carlos Fierro: 6.5
Nestor Calderón: 6