Chivas moved on to the Liga MX Liguilla semifinals as Orbelin Pineda’s first half header gave Chivas a precious 1-0 victory over rivals Atlas.
Matias Almeyda’s men arrived to this game down 1-0 on the aggregate scoreline and needing to win the game to have any chance of advancing to the next round.
From the start, the mood at the Estadio Chivas was a tight and tense one with so much at stake for both Guadalajara sides.
As expected, Atlas surrendered possession, but coach José Guadalupe Cruz’s decision to bench star striker Matias Alustiza was an unexpected one from the experienced manager.
Atlas were hurried into making a first half substitution when captain Leiton Jimenez had to be taken off for an apparent knee injury.
That might have been the turning point in this tie, as Chivas punished their rivals close to halftime. Pineda found himself unmarked following an Oswaldo Alanis header to give Chivas the advantage.
With Atlas needing a goal to progress, Cruz opted to introduce Matias Alustiza in the second half.
But it was Chivas who had a definite spring in their step and came close to doubling the lead twice after rattling the woodwork on two occasions.
Atlas’ best chances came from set-pieces, with Jaine Barreiro twice forcing Rodolfo Cota to diving saves.
Atlas had no choice to pile on the pressure in the final minutes, but they draw a blank as Chivas qualified to their first Liga MX semifinals in the Matias Almeyda era.