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Chivas crumbles defensively in loss to Pachuca

In their final game before the Superclasico, Chivas loses at home to Pachuca by a score of 4-2

Chivas v Pachuca - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas had one of the worst defensive performances of the season as they blew a 2-1 lead, losing by a score of 4-2 at home against Pachuca. Coach Tomas Boy got a lot of the ire of the fans after his team looked awful in defense and gave away a win at home just prior to the most important game of the year, when they face America on Saturday in the Superclasico. The biggest game of the regular season in Mexico will now take bigger expectations, as it looks like the head coaching job in Chivas might be on the line.

The first half started with Pachuca taking control of the game while Chivas struggled. Jonathan Copete had a good attack, but he failed to get control of the ball. Then a couple of minutes later, Chivas had their first disastrous mistake in the area when Antonio Briseño brought down Franco Jara, giving a penalty kick to Pachuca. It was the second consecutive game where Briseño made a mistake that gave a penalty to the rival team. Jara took the penalty to open the scoring.

Chivas tried to bounce back and had a good opportunity through a shot by Alexis Vega that Pachuca’s keeper Rodrigo Rey saved. Pachuca then continued to attack on the counter and had a another good opportunity that Copete failed to control. Later Ruben Sambueza made great pass for Victor Davila, but the Chilean striker also wasted this shot by failing to control the ball. In the final minutes of the half, Alexis Vega made a great play through the wings, got off a cross that keeper Rey failed to control and left the ball for Isaac Brizuela. Brizuela crashed into it and placed it past the keeper to give Chivas the 1-1 tie. The halftime whistle blew with Chivas energized by the equalizer.

The second half started and Chivas had the better start with Vega once again having a good opportunity. Then after a free kick, Javier Lopez’s cross found Alan Pulido, who made a great header to score and give Chivas the 2-1 lead.

After the goal, Chivas took complete control of the match. Pulido once again went to the attack and forced Rey to make a good save. Later it was Brizuela the one who forced Rey to make another great stop.

It looked like Chivas had it in them to finish the game but against the run of play, it was an ex-Chivas player who stopped them in their tracks. A cross to the area by Pachuca found Victor Guzman wide open, and he made a great header to tie the game.

Chivas continued on the offense and after a combination play, Pulido came close by hitting the post. Then the game-changing play happened when Fernando Beltran sent a back pass to Gilberto Sepulveda. The youngster failed to control the ball and gave it away to a pressuring Jara. Instead of going after the ball, Sepulveda fell trying to fake an foul and left Jara to go alone against Chivas keeper Raul Gudiño and scored for the 3-2 lead.

Chivas tried to go and get the equalizer but the team didn’t really threaten after the third goal. In extra time, one of their crosses got intercepted by Pachuca, who had a three-on-one counter. Gudiño tried to get to the ball, but instead it was Jara who got to it and went past him. He then crossed the ball to a wide open Edwin Cardona, who slotted it into the empty net for the 4-2.

What looked to have been a morale boosting victory for Chivas early in the second half turned into a nightmare situation going into the Superclasico. While Chivas looked better on offense than it did in past games, their defensive woes were unbelievable. The loss now has Chivas in full crisis mode, and with the stadium chanting “Fuera Boy!” after the loss, things look bad for the Chivas coach going into his most important game of the season.

Pachuca on the other hand got the win that showed that they are on the rise and improving fast. With seven points out of a possible nine over three games, they will now head to a key match at home against another of the more popular teams in Mexico when they face Cruz Azul. It will be a nice task that should show they are for real if they get the three points.