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Chivas dominate and clinch semifinal spot with win against Mazatlan

Chivas defeats Mazatlan and climbs temporarily to first place, clinching a spot in the semifinals of the Copa GNP por Mexico.

Chivas v Mazatlan FC - Copa GNP por Mexico Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Chivas clinched a spot in the semifinals of the Copa GNP por Mexico after defeating Mazatlan FC by a score of 3-1. The game had been marred by news that Mazatlan FC had three positive tests for COVID-19 after the last round of tests, when they had none coming into the tournament. There were rumors that the game was going to be called off, but it went through even though Mazatlan didn’t have their best lineup out there because of the missing players. The win places Chivas in the semifinals since with six points, since Tigres and Atlas both can’t reach them or get more points than them after Sunday’s game. Mazatlan FC meanwhile were eliminated with them only getting a single point.

With Chivas coming in with the top starting lineup and Mazatlan with a different squad hit by their problems, the game started with Chivas taking the ball. Chivas came close to scoring when after a corner kick, Mazatlan’s goalkeeper Miguel Fraga misjudged the ball and Gilberto Sepulveda headed it with no keeper, but it went wide. Minutes later Chivas pressured again when Jose Juan Macias had a chance but took too long to shoot it and Fraga got to the ball. After a couple of even minutes, Chivas was able to break through. Jesus Ricardo Angulo took a shot from outside the area and the ball got deflected by a defender and went past Fraga for the 1-0. Although the ball had been deflected it looked like a great goal.

Chivas came close again when another long range shot from Alexis Vega forced Fraga to make a save. Later it was Macias who got a shot that forced Fraga go make a save. Chivas had another chance when they got two headers off a corner kick, but the ball went wide. Mazatlan finally had a chance after a bad back pass from a Chivas defender, but Chivas’ keeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez got to the ball before Roberto Meraz. The halftime whistle blew and Chivas went out dominating the game but needing to improve to finish it off.

The second half stared and almost immediately Chivas got the 2-0. Isaac Brizuela made a great cross that found Macias, who headed it past Mazatlan’s new keeper Sebastian Sosa for the goal. Unlike other games in the tournament, Chivas didn’t change the starting lineup completely at halftime. This time Chivas only subbed out goalkeeper Rodrgiuez for Raul Gudiño. After minutes of dominance from Chivas, Mazatlan had their first chances of the half but the long range shots went straight into Gudiño’s arms. Chivas had a great chance when a couple of Chivas player had the ball in Mazatlan’s area but every time they had a shot, a Morelia defender blocked it. Mazatlan placed all their goalkeepers in the game after they subbed out Sosa for Daniel Gutierrez. Mazatlan had their best chance of the game when Fernando Aristeguieta was wide open in the area after a corner kick, but his header was wide. Then later Chivas took advantage of a mistake that gave Macias the ball alone with the keeper. He got his shot past keeper Gutierrez for the 3-0. With the goal, it looked like the game was over and Chivas took out Macias for Ronaldo Cisneros. Minutes later, Aristeguieta got a cross in the area and volleyed it past Gudiño for the 3-1 and the first goal ever for Mazatlan FC. After the goal, Chivas pressured and Angel Zaldivar forced a save from Gutierrez.

Chivas dominated the game and got a comfortable win that gave them the ticket to the semifinals. Chivas did what they needed to do, and they planned to do so, which is why they didn’t sub out the whole team like they did in past games. It paid off for them with Macias scoring two goals and Chivas playing the best half of the tournament for them. Mazatlan meanwhile bows out of the tournament and although they didn’t play badly, they didn’t shine either which is to be expected with it being a preseason tournament. Chivas will now have to wait on the Tigres vs Atlas game to see if they qualify as first or second and then see who they will face in the Semifinals of the Copa GNP por Mexico.