Chivas got their first win of the season, getting a victory away in Ciudad Juarez by a score of 2-0 over FC Juarez. Chivas and Juarez had a very even match, but the two goals deflated a Juarez team that had been playing well but crumbled in the second half. Chivas came out with interim coach Michel Leaño coaching the team, as Chivas hasn’t officially announced new coach Victor Manuel Vucetich will replace Luis Fernando Tena. He should be making his debut on Saturday as they face Atletico San Luis at home. FC Juarez meanwhile will need to bounce back as they face a tough visit to Cruz Azul.
The game started with Chivas coming out with a very similar lineup to the one under Coach Luis Fernando Tena, except with the return of Fernando Beltran. Juarez meanwhile had Marco Fabian in the stadium but in the stands as he still isn’t ready to play. Chivas started out dominating possession but eventually FC Juarez gained more of the ball in the heat of the Ciudad Juarez evening. Chivas had the first clear chance of the game when off of a corner kick, Gilberto Sepulveda rose alone to a get clear header but it went wide. Chivas went close again when Isaac Brizuela got to a ball in the area, but his left footed shot went close to the right post. Juarez had their first chance when Flavio Santos got a shot outside the area, but it got blocked by the Chivas defense. Minutes later he would get a header that Chivas keeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez was able to get to. Chivas had the best chance in the game when Uriel Antuna got a wide open header, but it hit the post. FC Juarez answered with a shot from Martin Rabuñal that almost got deflected in by a Chivas defender. In the final minutes of the half, Juarez had a great chance when a shot was brilliantly saved by Rodriguez, and then off of the rebound Brian Rubio took a shot, and the ref ruled that it was handled by Jesus Molina and gave a penalty kick. The ref then went to VAR and reversed his decision of giving a PK. In the last minute, Juarez got close again when a close range header from Maxi Olivera just went inches wide. The halftime whistle blew and Chivas was lucky that the game remained scoreless after the final minutes.
The second half began and Chivas came up with a strong start. Ricardo Angulo got a good shot that Juarez’s keeper Ivan Vasquez Mellado made a great save on. Then after another attack in the area, Jose Juan Macias got brought down by Bruno Romo and the ref called a penalty kick. The ref went to VAR but this time upheld his decision. J.J. Macias stepped up to take it and got a great shot to the roof of the net for the 1-0 lead and the first goal by Chivas in the 2020 Apertura. Minutes later Macias got subbed out for Alexis Vega, making his first appearance of the season after having a positive COVID-19 test after the Copa GNP por Mexico. Juarez tried to respond, but a couple of minutes later Antuna made a great run taking advantage of Juarez pushing up and made them pay. Antuna went past two Juarez players and took out Vasquez Mellado and then made a pass that found Ricardo Angulo in the area, and although he couldn’t connect at first, he made a good move and got off a left footed shot to the empty net for the 2-0. Juarez started to answer back and Chivas subbed out Antuna for Ronaldo Cisneros and Ricardo Angulo for Javier Lopez. Meanwhile Juarez subbed out Santos for Alan Mendoza. Juarez tried to get back on it but after the second goal, they really weren’t able to create many opportunities. Chivas tried to settle things as they subbed out Molina and Beltran for Dieter Villalpando and Jose Juan Vasquez. Twice Chivas came close with counters but failed in the final pass. It looked like Chivas was getting closer to a third goal than Juarez to their first. Then after a foul, Alexis Vega to his second yellow card and left Chivas with ten players and Vega concluding a terrible debut.
Chivas gets their first win of the season and do it just in time for a new tenure under Vucetich. While Chivas didn’t have the best start to the game, they improved and took advantage of a Juarez team that crumbled after the second goal. They will need to improve under the new coach, and will be hurt by the fact that Vega will be suspended for the game after the boost that was his return from illness. Meanwhile Juarez wasted a great opportunity to grab three points against a Chivas team in disarray. Their lackluster performance in the second half should worry Coach Gabriel Caballero especially with the tough game against Cruz Azul. They will hope that just like this past Sunday, Juarez can suprise a team in Mexico City but it doesn’t look likely.