After a nightmare of a weekend for Chivas fans, the Guadalajara club will try to go out with a win after their failure of a performance in the Club World Cup Quarterfinals. Chivas lost their opening match against Kashima Antlers 3-2, eliminating them from the tournament and spoiling their potential meeting against Real Madrid. To make things worse, their biggest rival America won the Liga MX title against Cruz Azul on Sunday, meaning that they once again became the most winning team in Liga MX with 13 league titles compared to Chivas’s 12. A win against Esperance de Tunis won’t help in their fans’ eyes, but a defeat would just add further insult to wound.
Chivas wasn’t exactly very favored coming in to this tournament. Mexican teams have had a long history of disappointing in this competition and they arrived after failing to get to the Liguilla for a third straight season.
That said, they were CONCACAF champions after winning a tournament where Tigres and America failed to do so. The big difference there, however, was the that the team was helmed by Matias Almeyda, who left the club a few months back after supposed problems with the fans’ number one enemy, Jose Luis Higuera. Under coach Jose Cardozo, they have looked good at times with a weaker squad than prior seasons, especially due to the departure of their best player Rodolfo Pizarro to Monterrey, but they ultimately failed to make the Playoffs.
As such, all eyes were set on this tournament, and after taking an early lead and being the better team in the first half, they once again collapsed and lost to the Japanese Kashima Antlers, losing the golden opportunity to face Real Madrid in the Semifinals.
While Mexican teams are supposed to be the best outside of UEFA and CONMEBOL, they have failed to get the third-place finish in 11 out of 13 tournaments. Stuff like that shows that Mexican teams aren’t as good as fans believe they are. Chivas will now try to finish with a win in the last official game for a Mexican team in 2018, but in terms of joy to their fans, that ship has sailed until 2019.
Date: Tuesday, December 16
Time: 5:30am Pacific, 7:30am Central, 8:30am Eastern
Venue: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
TV: Universo (US-Spanish), FOX Sports 2 (US-English), FOX Sports 2 (Mexico), beIN Sports HD 1 (Tunisia)