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Chivas bounce back to close out season with comeback win over Monterrey

Chivas came back to get the 3-1 win in the last regular season game of 2020.

Chivas v Monterrey - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas close out their season with a come from behind win as they defeated Monterrey by a score of 3-1. Chivas finished a week filled with turmoil in which they officially announced the end of their contract with Dieter Villalpando as well that players Jose Javier Vasquez, Alexis Peña, and Javier Lopez would never play with Chivas again. Monterrey meanwhile had played on Wednesday in the Copa MX final and looked out of energy late in the game. Both teams will now play in the repechaje, as the loss meant that Monterrey was out of the Liguilla.

The first half started with Chivas still not having Jose Juan Macias back from injury as well as the players they cut ties with. Meanwhile Monterrey started with Vincent Janssen instead of Rogelio Funes Mori. The game started to be a very even match with a Janssen shot being saved by Chivas’ keeper Raul Gudiño. Chivas didn’t have an opportunity until the 28th minute when Alexis Vega took a shot that was easily saved by Monterrey’s keeper Hugo Gonzalez. Later Monterrey had a chance with a Dorlan Pabon shot was saved by Gudiño. While Monterrey had more possession and was closer to the area, both teams were failing to create any dangerous opportunities. Then off of a free kick, Aviles Hurtado rose alone to head the ball past Gudiño for the 1-0. Chivas had a good opportunity to answer back when Uriel Antuna found Alexis Vega in the area, but he took too long to shoot and the ball was cleared. Later Monterrey came close when a cross by Pabon turned into a shot that Gudiño blocked. The first half ended and with the minimum of effort, Monterrey went on with the 1-0 lead.

The second half started with neither team making any substitutions. A minute in, Monterrey had the first opportunity when a Aviles Hurtado tried to score from a bicycle kick attempt but it went well wide. Monterrey took complete control of the second half and had Chivas pushed well back. Chivas tried to answer by subbing out Jesus Sanchez for Jesus Ricardo Angulo. Monterrey then subbed out Ake Loba for Sebastian Vegas. Monterrey had another great opportunity when Jesus Gallardo got the ball in the area and got a great shot off that forced Gudiño to make a save. Chivas tried to answer back and subbed in Angel Zaldivar for Jesus Molina. Monterrey had another chance when Janssen got off a left footed shot that Gudiño saved. Monterrey subbed out Dorlan Pabon for Argentine Maxi Meza. Monterrey missed an incredible chance when Meza got a pass past Gudiño and into the path of Janssen, who incredibly hit the post with a wide open net in one of the biggest misses of the season. Chivas tried to answer by subbing out Antonio Briseño and Fernando Beltran for Oribe Peralta and Eduardo Torres. Monterrey meanwhile subbed out Aviles Hurtado and Janssen for Carlos Rodriguez and Rogelio Funes Mori. It looked like Monterrey had the game under control but then an individual play changed things. A good combination play ended with a great cross by Antuna that found Angel Zaldiva who headed the ball past a static Hugo Gonzalez for the 1-1 equalizer.

Chivas had struck early and minutes later, Monterrey was reeling. With the ball being played outside the area, Alexis Vega took a rocket shot that went past Gonzalez for a great goal and the 2-1 lead. While Monterrey had been the better team most of the game, it seemed like Chivas struck at the right time. Monterrey went into desperation mode and in the final minutes, Chivas made them pay. A great play from Vega found Antuna, who then made a great pass into the area to Jesus Angulo, who went past a still Nicolas Sanchez and got off a shot that Gonzalez blocked into the post. Unfortunately for him, Angulo got to the rebound and his left footed shot went in for the 3-1. Chivas had made their move at the right time and took the win to close out the season.

Chivas ends the season with a high note. While they were dominated for large stretches of the match, they took advantage of the right time. Still they were benefited in a way from a Monterrey side that seemed to lose the energy probably because of the game they played on Wednesday and the ensuing celebration. Chivas should be worried about the fact that Monterrey seemed the better team for large minutes especially with the one legged repechaje. Still they rose to the occasion at the right time and after a lot of hurdles during the week. Monterrey meanwhile lost the opportunity to qualify to the Liguilla and will have to play the repechaje. Still they are a talented squad and should be favored to get to the Liguilla, regardless of what team they face in the Repechaje. Yet they must also improved as they showed to be vulnerable especially if they aren’t 100% like today.