Chivas’ second half resurgence earned them a thrilling 3-2 victory against Puebla at the Estadio Chivas on Saturday night for the 13th match date of the 2017 Clausura.
Orbelín Pineda was conspicuous in his absence from Matías Almeyda’s starting 11 as injury concerns limited him to the bench for most of the game. Rodolfo Pizarro was held out of the game entirely due to injuries. Lacking two explosive young players, Chivas’ first half rhythm suffered greatly when they dropped to a 2-0 deficit at the half.
The lackluster first half saw Chivas a step too slow and lethargic. Carlos Salcido saw himself losing virtually every foot race to a loose ball. José “Gallito” Vázquez drew an early yellow card in the fifth minute and was eventually ejected from the game due to a second yellow card in the 65th minute via a handball. Even Rodolfo Cota had a gaffe that saw him concede the first goal in a one-on-one situation. The silver lining in all of this was Oswaldo Alanís’ alert play and heroics in disarming Puebla’s offense at the last instance.
Puebla manager José Cardozo seemingly enacted a game-winning plan when Puebla stifled Chivas on the flanks and diminished opportunities for them. Edwin Hernández and Javier “Chofis” López struggled mightily in attempting to generate chances on and from the flank.
The three unanswered goals from Chivas can be accredited to three on-the-field performances. Alan Pulido had his shooting boots on when he won a one-on-one duel against Puebla goalkeeper Cristian Campestrini in the 55th minute. The combination of sheer grit and class from Pulido in that one play was the catalyst for the epic comeback that was to follow. Orbelín Pineda’s insertion to the game saw him chisel away at the middle and eventually garner more attention to the interior from the Puebla defense—consequently allowing more room for offense on the flanks. Pineda’s tireless play was only matched by Carlos Fierro. Fierro supplied on the first goal and brought catharsis to the Estadio Chivas when he stole the ball from Campestrini and scored in the 93rd minute.
Almeyda’s side has little time to relish this epic victory as they must face Tigres on Tuesday night, April 11th at the Estadio Universitario in Liga MX action.
Here are the ratings for Saturday night’s squad:
Rodolfo Cota: 7
Oswaldo Alanís: 7.5
Carlos Salcido: 4
Edwin Hernández: 5
Jesús Sánchez: 6
Michael Pérez: 6.5
Ángel Zaldívar: 6
Carlos Fierro: 8
José Vázquez: 4
Javier López: 6
Alan Pulido: 8
Orbelín Pineda: 8
Nestor Calderón: 7