Any sight of trouble in Coapa was set aside as América came out and handed Morelia a 2-0 loss in Michoacán. However, the Chiapas clash brought into light América’s lack of turning eye-popping plays into goals. América can’t win games without scoring any goals, and that has to change quickly or the Coapa team could be in trouble well before real rivals such as Chivas and Pumas come around.
Here are three takeaways from Club América’s last two league games.
Morelia and Chiapas show resilience, takes advantage of América’s weakpoints.
As much as América maintained possession and seemed the better attacking team on the field, Morelia and Chiapas sat tight and waited for the counter-attack play that was the difference maker for Chiapas on Tuesday.
The last five encounters with Chiapas ended with América victories, with the previous match being a Copa MX quarterfinal game in which América won in convincing form. But Tuesday’s Chiapas was a different team. Matching América with every play and showing why they should remain in the top flight amidst financial scandals and relegation at the end of the season.
Sergio Bueno’s team played well and brought on a match to an América team that couldn’t finalize opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net. Relying on Darwin Quintero to come in and save the game may have worked against Morelia but on Tuesday it just wasn’t enough. Chiapas never let up, defending their lines considerably well and maintaining América scoreless, while both teams matched each other on the stats sheet with shots on goal. It’s safe to say Chiapas capitalized while América didn’t.
Luis “Quick” Mendoza scored the only goal in Chiapas’ last league encounter to reigning Liga MX Champions, Tigres UANL.“Quick” has played well against his old teams and Tuesday was no exception. He was in the right spots at the right time and generated plays. Although Quick wasn’t the generator of the first or second goal, he added a spunk on the field no other player brought to the pressed, counter-attack team that Chiapas is. Chiapas’ first goal falls in the 64th minute with a sole attack of Franco Arizala, taking on three América defenders as he falls to the ground. He manages to flick it back to a standing Jonathan Fabbro who is then lucky enough to receive the ball and “one-time” kick the ball with the inside of his right foot causing it to spin into the bottom left corner past América goalkeeper, Augustin Marchesin, for the 1-0 lead.
As injury time in the second half winds down, Marcelo Estigarribia takes on, fresh-legged, Carlos Rosel down the left flank and takes it into the six yard box with a left footed shot past goalkeeper Marchesin into the bottom right corner to send Las Aguilas down 0-2. A well-deserved goal for Estigarribia as Rosel learns defending won’t be an easy task against any team in the Liga MX.
A win against América is always rewarded well and shouldn’t be taken lightly for Chiapas. Launching them to upper-end of the standings table and that much closer to avoiding the relegation drop at the end of the season. Every point is futile for Los Jaguares and what better way to make a statement to the rest of the league by beating the most winning team in Mexican soccer.
Oribe woes while Darwin’s “Scientific” plays bring second wind
Oribe Peralta’s scoring drought is evident, from ill-advised passes to not capitalizing on scoring opportunities, most players of his caliber are capable of at least getting calls in his favor but on Saturday and Tuesday night, calls weren’t made as he received sweeping legs from Morelia and Chiapas’ defenders. Oribe’s frustration with and without the ball results in an early departure on Saturday’s game, with a substitution in the 64th minute to bring on, none other than, Darwin Quintero. On Tuesday, Oribe plays all 90+ minutes but is unable to strike a goal home through clear chances. All this comes to Oribe at a time where he wasn’t allowed a call-up to Mexico’s international friendly against Iceland due in fact to the pending Week 1 game against Jaguares de Chiapas.
Oribe Peralta came off the field on Saturday night surprised by Ricardo LaVolpe’s substitution. América then switches its formation to a 4-2-2-2, with Darwin playing just behind Silvio “Chino” Romero which quickly pays off for LaVolpe as it opens up Morelia’s Defense and allows for the goals to fall in for América. Darwin’s brilliance as soon as he steps onto the field wasn’t as obvious on Tuesday night as the Chiapaneco’s defense did not let up and closed down lanes and passes that were fundamental in América’s win in Morelia.
América need to shake it off and keep working hard
América played to a convincing win last Saturday to a lack-luster Morelia, which stood 2-0 at the final whistle, while having a favorable margin against Chiapas and losing by the same score. The Coapa team has to regroup, be strategic about their game plan, and go out on Saturday’s home game against Puebla with a breath of fresh air. There is no easy team to play against in the Liga MX, which makes it one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world but América should be fine, for now. There’s plenty of fútbol left to play so the panic button shouldn’t be anywhere near club directors just yet. The players need to get out on the field and play together. The soccer gods reward hard working teams and the goals will soon come.