While there were many things to take from Óscar Pareja’s Liga MX debut, three points were not among them as Chivas de Guadalajara downed Club Tijuana 2-0 at Estadio Akron.
While Chivas seemed to have the better of possession early on, it would be Luis Chávez who would register the first shot on goal in the fifth minute, hitting a blast from about 25 yards out that Raúl Gudiño pushed aside.
The new-look Xolos were well organized, preferring to keep numbers behind the ball and hit the hosts on a counterattack when the opportunity arose. The slow, methodical approach may have caught some by surprise, but it was effective.
There wouldn’t be much action until the 38th minute when Isaác Brizuela was able to slip his defender and unleash a shot, but it was well over the top of goalkeeper Gibran Lajud’s net. Miguel Ponce would hit a blast in the 43rd from about 20 yards out that went just over Lajud’s net.
Tijuana had a very good chance just a minute later when Diego González hit a cross into the box from the left but Juan Martín Lucero couldn’t quite get his foot on it to redirect it. It looked like there was contact between Lucero and the Chivas defender, but not enough for referee Adonai Escobedo to award a penalty.
In the second half, Tijuana opened up a little bit and pushed the ball forward. Fabián Castillo continued to terrorize the Chivas right flank, creating headaches for Josecarlos Van Rankin and Jair Pereira as both struggled to contain the Colombian forward.
In the 51st though it would be Chivas with the chance as Alan Pulido hit a hard, low shot that forced Lajud to make a sprawling fingertip save on. Just three minutes later, Chivas would break the deadlock when a defensive miscue saw Alexis Vega slip Isaác Brizuela through on goal. Brizuela would cross it to Pulido, who would hit the wide open net and give the hosts the lead.
Shortly after the goal, Lajud would bail out Xolos by making a fantastic kick save on a shot just outside of the six yard box. Xolos would then turn on the offense, forcing Gudiño to make a couple of acrobatic saves in the 72nd and 73rd minutes.
Deep into stoppage time, Brizuela would double Chivas’ lead on a solid hit from about 15 yards out and put the game out of reach for Tijuana.
After the match a scuffle ensued and Chivas’ Jesús “Chapito” Sanchez picked up a red card for his role. Chapito had to be restrained by teammates.
Chivas will head to Hermosillo to play Cimarrones de Sonora on Tuesday in Copa MX play before going to Mexico City to play Cruz Azul on Saturday in Liga MX’s Week 2. Tijuana hosts Tigres UANL on Saturday in Liga MX play.
Guadalajara: Raúl Gudiño; Hiram Mier, Miguel Ponce, Jair Pereira, Josecarlos Van Rankin; Carlos Cisneros (Eduardo López, 45’, Hedgardo Marín, 81’), Dieter Villalpando (Fernando Belrtán, 69’), Jesús Molina, Isaác Brizuiela; Alexis Vega, Alan Pulido
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Diego Braghieri, Julián Velázquez, Ignacio Rivero (Eryc Castillo, 73’); Diego González, Luis Chávez (Miller Bolaños, 76’), Diego Rodrígiez; Antonio Nava (Omar Mendoza, 62’), Juan Martín Lucero, Fabián Castillo
Scoring: Guadalajara - Alan Pulido (55’), Isaác Brizuela (90+4’); Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Guadalajara - None; Tijuana - Miller Bolaños (Yellow - 90+2’)