Matchday 5 of the Clausura had Puebla hosting Chivas de Guadalajara in the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. The home team, Puebla, was recently coming off a 2-0 loss against Xolos de Tijuana. Chivas were also coming off a 2-1 defeat against Los Rayados.
The match started very quickly, with Chivas giving up a goal as early as the third minute to Omar Fernandez with a header that just got passed Rodolfo Cota. Cota originally stopped Puebla’s Cavallini’s shot only to have Fernandez come swooping in to finish over Cota’s outstretched arms.
Chivas were in shock for almost the rest of the first half, only getting three shots on target. Puebla’s defense was so compact that Javier Eduardo Lopez and Alan Pulido were taken out of the game entirely.
Chivas, who held control of the ball for the majority of the first half, were caught sleeping in the second to last minute of the half. Puebla’s Francisco Acuna played a perfect ball into Alejandro Chumacero, who slipped while attempting to kick it over Chivas keeper Cota. Cavallini, though, put the ball into an empty net.
The second half started with the Chivas defense being just as porous as it was against Monterrey. Carlos Salcido showed his age at 37, with Puebla defenders moving around him as if he was a stationary object. The likes of Oswaldo Alanis still on the bench despite playing for Mexico two days ago against Bosnia & Herzegovina. Chivas coach Almeyda opted to try to increase firepower by using all three substitutions available, the most notable being winger Isaac Brizuela, who gave Chivas their best opportunity to score in the 62nd minute with a powerful shot that hit the post.
The rest of the second half saw Puebla hold more possession of the ball, as they played keep away to a Chivas team that couldn’t string together three passes with the pressing that Puebla were playing. That was until Puebla’s Chumacero was shown a red car in the 89th minute for his second yellow. By then however, it was little too later for Guadalajara, who if aren’t careful can easily repeat the same mistakes of last year.
Puebla are playing great football coming in with the right energy and were fortunate to have scored both goals. Sure some of the Chivas players that were called up to the National Team may have been worn out from the aggressive game they had against Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it’s more of a trend of Chivas lately. Beating Tigres and Chivas this season has Puebla looking on the up and up.
What can be said about Chivas? Puebla just seemed to want it more. The team as a whole didn’t click tonight. Sandoval, Chivas’s biggest transfer of the last window, doesn’t seem to be performing to expectations, and the defense looks slow against the counter and it hurt them. Almeyda is officially in the hot seat if they continue as they have.