A 94th minute goal saved Chivas from getting a second consecutive tie against a team that was down to 10 players, giving them a 2-1 win against Necaxa. Like their Tuesday game against Queretaro, Chivas had another goalkeeper mistake that resulted in a goal and they also were failing to take advantage of being up a player for large part of the game. This time however Chivas got their second goal, although it was in the last play of the game. The win is a huge boost for Chivas, who will now travel with a win to Mexico City to face their biggest rival America in the biggest game of the year in Liga MX. Necaxa meanwhile suffers another setback, although they had done a good defensive job and were minutes away from getting a tie against Chivas even when they were down to 10 players since the first half.
The game started with the expected news that Raul Gudiño was going to be the goalkeeper for Chivas instead of Jose Antonio Rodriguez, who was benched after his mistake against Queretaro. The game was very even the first minutes, with neither team creating any clear chances. Chivas had the first shot at goal when Alexis Vega took a shot from outside the area, but it went well wide. Later it was Jose Juan Macias who made a incredible effort to connect with a bicycle kick off a tough cross from Isaac Brizuela, but he couldn’t get to it. Later Macias got off a great shot from outside the area but it just went wide. Chivas should have done better with a play in the area but instead of crossing the ball, Alexis Vega shot it and it went well wide. Then after a bad clearance from Necaxa the ball fell to Ricardo Angulo, but his shot was terrible and went into the stands. Necaxa had their first true chance in the 35th minute, but Juan Delgado’s shot went well wide. Minutes later Delgado had a terrible tackle against Cristian Calderon, who looked hurt on the play. He initially got a yellow card, but then the referee went to the VAR and correctly changed it to a red card. Chivas had another chance when the ball fell in the area and Calderon got a shot off, but it went well wide. The halftime whistle blew, and while Chivas had dominated, they had created too few chances and would need to improve now that they had the player advantage.
The second half started with the hopes that it would be a better half than the boring first. Chivas subbed in Uriel Antuna for Angulo as they tried to improve offensively. The first offensive chance fell to Chivas when Brizuela made a good run into the area, but his cross got deflected to safety by Necaxa’s keeper Sebastian Fassi. Later a header by Alexis Vega came close to giving Necaxa a scare, but it went wide. Necaxa had their best chance of the game when a shot from Ian Gonzalez barely got deflected into a corner. On the ensuing corner kick, Chivas took advantage and had a good counter attack, but Antuna’s shot went wide. Later Brizuela was able to get off a shot that forced Fassi to make a great save, the first one of the game. Later Fernando Arce had a great chance from Necaxa when he got to a ball in the area after a corner kick, but the ball went wide. Necaxa subbed out Maximiliano Salas for Martin Barragan as they looked to be more offensive after handling Chivas well despite being down a player. Chivas responded by subbing out Calderon for Miguel Angel Ponce and also Jesus Sanchez for Jose Juan Vasquez. Then in a surprising play, another terrible goalkeeper mistake cost Chivas a goal. A shot from a Necaxa player was deflected by Gudiño into the path of Ian Gonzalez, who shot it past Gudiño as two Chivas defenders were just standing there for the 1-0 lead. It was a big hit, especially since it came from another goalkeeper mistake.
Chivas though reacted almost immediately however. Alexis Vega made a run and got off a cross into the area that found Uriel Antuna near the far post, and he headed it past Fassi for the 1-1 tie. Chivas had responded well, and decided to sub out Jesus Molina for Oribe Peralta, showing they were going for all three points. Later Miguel Ponce got a left footed shot that forced Fassi to make a good save. Necaxa then subbed out Idekel Dominguez for Mario De Luna, Fernando Arce for David Cabrera, and Ian Gonzalez for Joao Rodriguez. After a couple of minutes of domination from Chivas, Necaxa had chance when Ricardo Chavez made a shot that Gudiño saved. Chivas then subbed out Dieter Villalpando for Fernando Beltran. The later minutes had Chivas pushing Necaxa well into the area, but Necaxa was doing a good job of defending and not allowing them chances. Vega had a shot in the area and it almost got deflected into the net, but it went wide. Then in the last minute of the game. Alexis Vega got a ball in the area and made a move to get off a shot that went past the hands of Sebastian Fassi and into the net for the 2-1 win. It was surprising shot, but Malagon should have done better with the play. The ref blew the whistle and Chivas got off a last minute heroic victory in the last game before the Superclasico.
Chivas getting a win will be an emotional boost, as they close out a pretty successful three game run in terms of results. Still, Chivas should be worried that once again their level of play left a lot to be desired. While it’s true that they dominated the match almost from the start, their play left a lot to be desired, especially when Necaxa went down to 10 players. Chivas didn’t create many opportunities, and got the lead mainly because of effort instead of having a clear offensive idea. Necaxa sat back and looked set to get the tie if it wasn’t because of Fassi’s mistake. Chivas will need to improve a lot if they hope to get a positive result against America, a team with a better squad than both Queretaro and Necaxa, with the added pressure of it being the biggest game of the season in Mexican football. Necaxa meanwhile get their second straight loss under new coach Jose Guadalupe Cruz, and while the team still needs a lot of work offensively, they might have deserved better than the loss and will hope things improve in their second consecutive game home game against Puebla.