Tigres dominated a lackluster Chivas at home, grabbing a 3-0 win. Although both teams had been struggling, Tigres was able to rise to the occasion and leave their struggles behind while Chivas increased their troubles greatly with their first loss of the season after another terrible performance. While the game had been pretty even in the first half, only Tigres showed up in the second half with Coach Luis Fernando Tena once again making troublesome substitutions that didn’t pay off. Tigres will now have a boost for their tough away match against Santos Laguna while Chivas will now have all the pressure in the world for their home game against Cruz Azul.
The game started with the good news for Chivas that not only had Alexis Vega and Jose Juan Macias returned, but Fernando Beltran and Hiram Mier also wouldn’t miss the game because of injury as expected. Yet a minute in, it was Tigres who had the first chance when a mistake allowed the ball to get to Andre-Pierre Gignac. He left the ball in the area for Luis Quiñones, but his shot went wide. Tigres had another great chance when Enner Valencia made a great play in the area and should’ve scored, but his shot went over the bar. Chivas had their first chance a minute in when Macias made a great play in the area to get himself alone for a shot, but Tigres’ goalkeeper, Nahuel Guzman made a good stop. Then in the ensuing corner kick, Chivas should’ve scored when two headers in the area made Guzman make another stop from close range. The game became very even as time went on, with Gignac coming close twice. Tigres had a great chance near the end of the half but it was wasted away by Valencia and ended up with a bad shot from Jordan Sierra. The halftime whistle blew as the game promising start led to a stalemate.
The second half started with Tigres trying to get things going, and they had the first opportunity with a long range shot from Gignac that went wide. Then off a good low cross from Quiñones, Enner Valencia got to the ball and placed it past Chivas keeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez for the 1-0 lead. Tigres smelled blood in the water and came close again with a shot from Raymundo Fulgencio. Then off a corner kick, the referee judged that Jesus Molina brought Gignac down in the box and gave a penalty kick. Even after going to VAR the decision was upheld and Molina got yellow carded. Gignac took the PK and converted to make it 2-0 in favor of the home side. Chivas tried to answer by subbing out Javier “Chofis” Lopez for Ricardo Angulo. Later on Tena would sub out Macias for Oribe Peralta. Peralta then went a minute in and missed an incredible goal. Peralta got a ball without the keeper and inches away from the line and still missed it in what will probably be the worst miss of the tournament.
El Primero que se tiene que ir es Tena y el segundo es Oribe Peralta. pic.twitter.com/YlGHX5mS7W— Efra Vázquez ⚽ (@EfraVzquezS1) February 9, 2020
Then a couple of plays later, Valencia found Gignac in the area and he got off a shot past Rodriguez to make it 3-0. Chivas was crumbling and Tigres was taking advantage of it. Gignac then later came close with a flip but it went wide. Chivas got a shot off from Angulo, but Gignac stopped the ball and the cleared the rebound with his foot before a Chivas player got to it. Tigres should have made it 4-0 when they had a two-on-one but Julian Quiñones (who had been subbed in) sent his shot straight to Rodriguez. Chivas tried to attack, but for all intents and purposes the game was over when Gignac scored the 3-0 and Tigres held on for the win.
This game looks like it might be a game changer for both teams. Tigres gets a big boost of life after a lackluster start with a convincing win at home. Meanwhile Chivas is out of the Liguilla zone and their fans will have more reason to criticize as they no longer have the shield of being undefeated to distract from the awful level of play in recent games. A team that was built to be a title contender now looks like it will struggle to make it to the Liguilla once again. Coach Tena will have a lot of criticism over they way he hasn’t been able to build a cohesive unit, as the team once again failed to create much danger and was dominated. Unlike their past games against Pachuca and Atletico San Luis, this time Tigres was able to make Chivas pay for their lack of skill shown. Now the Cruz Azul game becomes of heavy importance for Chivas with Tena’s job possibly being on the line. Meanwhile Tigres’ season improves a lot but they still face a tough match against northern rival Santos next week before they start their Concacaf Champions League tournament.