Chivas dominated at times, but in the end came close to giving away the Clasico Tapatio as they were able to hold on for a 3-2 win over Atlas. Chivas was the better side for most of the game, but a couple of controversial decision that went against them gave them trouble and once again Chivas ended up overall not living up to expectations. Still the win is a huge boost that they will need for next week’s tough home game against Cruz Azul. Atlas meanwhile will have to bounce back, and will do so in a tough away match against Club America.
The first half started with both teams coming in with close to their regular lineup, including Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas, straight from playing in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers. Chivas had the first chance when Isaac Brizuela got a ball in the area but his shot went wide. Later, Miguel Angel Ponce came very close to scoring but his header was incredibly saved by Vargas. Then after a mistake by Vargas, Brizuela was gifted the ball but once again his shot went wide. Atlas had their first opportunity when a mistake by Chivas defense allowed Renato Ibarra to find Ignacio Malcorra in the area, but his shot was cleared for a corner kick. In a corner kick Atlas came really close to scoring when Javier Abella’s header just went inches wide. The game had become even, but in a surprising play Chivas took the lead. Uriel Antuna got the ball in the area and although he was surrounded by Atlas players, he still took a left footed shot that went through all of them and past Vargas for the 1-0 lead. It was a surprising shot by Antuna, but it was very well placed and took the Atlas players by surprise because nobody was expecting him to shoot. Atlas went on the attack and almost converted when an Atlas shot was cleared off the line by Antonio Briseño. It was a mistake that Atlas ended up paying for when Chivas counter attacked and scored. Jesus Ricardo Angulo made a great cross that found Uriel Antuna, who one-time passed it to Jose Juan Macias. Macias took a right footed shot past Vargas for the 2-0 lead. Chivas was clicking and it was a big hit for Atlas to be trailing by two goals, especially after coming close to scoring. Still Atlas battled and Luciano Acosta had a good opportunity outside the area but his shot was terrible and went wide.
The second half started with Atlas subbing out Luciano Acosta for Ignacio Jeraldino. Atlas went on the offense and took complete control for the first minutes of the second half. Yet for all their dominance, they failed to create a chance up until Javier Correa had a shot at the 60th minute that went wide. As time went by, Chivas started to get into the game and Atlas seemed to falter. To counter, Atlas subbed out Lorenzo Reyes and Renato Ibarra for Edyairth Ortega and Jairo Torres. Chivas subbed out Alexis Vega for Dieter Villalpando. A minute in, Torres fell in the area after a clash with Jose Javier Vasquez and a penalty kick was given. Malcorra took the PK but his left footed shot was saved by Chivas keeper, Raul Gudiño. Atlas kept pushing Chivas even after the miss and Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez for Gilberto Sepulveda and Ricardo Angulo for Fernando Beltran. Atlas came close again when Correa got a ball in the area and his shot just went wide. Atlas continue to push Chivas even after missing the PK. Atlas subbed out Correa for Jonathan Herrera, while Chivas subbed out Uriel Antuna and Jose Juan Macias for Angel Zaldivar and Javier Lopez. Atlas went on the attack and Chivas took advantage. Off a counter attack, Isaac Brizuela found Dieter Villalpando, who then returned the ball with a great pass that Brizuela got his shot past Vargas for the 3-0. It seemed that the game was finished but Chivas made a mistake in marking, allowing Ignacio Jeraldino a close range shot that was stopped by Gudiño but he was able to get his own rebound and score to make it 3-1. It looked like the goal shouldn’t have counted since the ball looked to have gone past the line before Malcorra crossed it, but the referee didn’t disallow it. Later an Atlas player fell after a clash with Villalpando and the ref gave another penalty kick to Atlas. This time Malcorra converted it with a left footed shot for the 3-2. Still it was too little too late and Chivas held on for a win that should have been clearer.
Chivas got a good result but will have another performance in which the team dropped a lot in the second half. Chivas went from a clear dominance in the first half to suffering greatly, especially in the final minutes. Still Chivas seemed to have been affected by bad referee decisions and they improved from recent performances in their second biggest rivalry in Liga MX. Yet they don’t seem to be quite “there” yet, and will suffer against better teams if they don’t correct things. Chivas will have a tougher test next week when they face Cruz Azul, and coach Victor Manuel Vucetich must try to find a way for the team not to fall in the second half. Atlas meanwhile had fighting spirit, but at times they were clearly dominated and weren’t up to the level of a Chivas team that isn’t having a great season. Coach Diego Cocca will have an even tougher game against America, and it seems that even when the team had improved, they are far from being a Liguilla candidate.