Jesus “Chapo” Sanchez and Jose Juan Macias were on target as Chivas secured a 2-0 victory over Cibao FC in the First Leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 clash.
The win helped ease some of the pressure on Chivas in recent weeks, but the performance left plenty to be desired against a Cibao FC team that proved to be a tougher test than most expected.
The Dominican side actually carved open the first big opportunity of the game when a brilliant run from former Atlas-man Jesus Meza finished with Tafarel Ferreira serving Cesar Tahuil inside the area for a shot that came only inches wide of the Rebaño’s goal.
Chivas began to get on the ball more, although clumsily, with Alan Pulido and Rodolfo Pizarro each testing the Cibao goalkeeper.
Chivas’ pressure finally told when in the 40th minute an unmarked Jesus “Chapo” Sanchez appeared on the right-hand side to slot home the breakthrough.
The Mexican side then had a goal ruled out for an apparent offside as Jair Pereira headed an Orbelin Pineda cross past Juan Dominguez.
As expected, Chivas dominated after the break but without really testing Dominguez. Rodolfo Pizarro looked odds on to double the lead with 66 minutes gone when a shot off the post left him alone in front of an empty net, but his shot went high and across the goal.
Chivas eventually wrapped up the win in added time, with a close range finish from Jose Juan Macias after a nice buildup play from the left side of the field.
Despite a valiant performance from Cibao, who are participating in their first ever CONCACAF Champions League, Chivas appear to me in firm control of the tie. Both teams will meet again next week at the Estadio Akron.