Chivas and Morelia played to a scoreless draw at the Estadio José Maria Morelos y Pavón on Saturday night for the 12th match date of the 2017 Clausura.
Returning from the international break, Matías Almeyda only had Orbelín Pineda to worry about pulling international duty, but gave him a spot in the starting 11 anyways. This did not last long, however, as Pineda was substituted in the 58th minute for Michael Pérez. The move paid dividends, as Chivas was able to get into a groove of position and produce opportunities at goal. Having Pérez enter the game helped stabilize the midfield and minimize turnovers, but still did not garner any results on the score sheet.
Offensively, El Rebaño had its chances. Carlos Fierro provided a deadly spark on the counter and looked menacing at times, but did not help in the issue of finishing in the final third. Alan Pulido and Rodolfo Pizarro were tasked with scoring but couldn’t quite break through. Their 59th minute opportunity proved the most frustrating when Pizarro spotted Pulido in the box and provided him a pass. Monarcas’ goalkeeper Carlos Rodríguez narrowly deflected Pulido’s shot. The ball fell to an oncoming Pizarro who sent the ball well over the bar.
Carlos Salcido had one of his best performances as he showcased some heroics to maintain the game scoreless. Perhaps his best instance of the match came in the 80th minute: Salcido had a timely tackle and blocked a shot at the last possible moment from an unmarked man in the box on dangerous Morelia counter. Salcido’s experience and grit seems to have played a role in his performance, as his positioning was impeccable for certain tackles.
Almeyda has a busy week ahead with a Copa MX match against Monterrey and a return to Liga MX action for the 13th match date against Puebla on Saturday, April 8th.
Here are the ratings for Saturday night’s squad:
Rodolfo Cota: 7
Oswaldo Alanís: 7
Carlos Salcido: 7.5
Edwin Hernández: 6
Jesús Sánchez: 6
Orbelín Pineda: 5
Ángel Zaldívar: 5
Carlos Fierro: 6.5
José Vázquez: 6
Rodolfo Pizarro: 6
Alan Pulido: 7
Javier López: 6
Michael Pérez: 7
Nestor Calderón: N/A (entered very late and had too little play to warrant a rating)