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Chivas fail to impress in controversial win over Mazatlan FC

Chivas v Mazatlan FC - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Chivas got back to their winning ways, but did so in a controversial way as they defeated Mazatlan FC. Once again Chivas’ rival went down to 10 players, and once again Chivas failed to display a good level of play to take advantage of that factor as they got a win but struggled to get it. Mazatlan meanwhile got hurt by referee’s decision for a second consecutive week as they continue to struggle. Chivas will need to improve as they face a tough trip to Tijuana to play in a a stadium where they have suffered before. Mazatlan meanwhile will have another trip to an even tougher venue when they face Leon.

The first half started as Chivas looked to bounce back, but it would go wrong almost immediately. After a free kick, Chivas did a terrible job defending allowing Mazatlan a free shot in the area. Goalkeeper Raul Gudiño stopped the ball but gave up a rebound that Nicolas Diaz was able to get to and scored it past him for the 1-0. Chivas now had to try to bounce back against a team that could now sit back. But for Mazatlan it wouldn’t take long to squander it. Chivas got a corner kick and Mazatlan did a terrible job defending, allowing Jesus Molina to go alone into the area, connecting perfectly with the ball and placing it past Mazatlan’s keeper Sebastian Sosa for the 1-1.

After the goal, Chivas took complete control of the match but couldn’t create much danger. After a free kick just outside the area, a scramble came in but the play was ended with a foul. Later on, the ref went to the VAR and saw that Mario Osuna had blocked one of the early shots in the melee with his hand and called a penalty kick, also giving Osuna his second yellow card and thus a red card. The play looked like a PK but the yellow was harsh, especially since he already had one. Jose Juan Macias stepped up and took it, converting it with a right footed shot for the 2-1. Macias thus gained some redemption after missing his last PK against Queretaro. Chivas now faced a Mazatlan team with 10 players, at home with the lead, a perfect opportunity to get a victory. Mazatlan almost answered back when off another free kick, Chivas did a terrible job defending and almost gave a free shot to Cesar Huerta, but he failed to get to the ball cleanly and thus his shot went well wide. Chivas had a good chance when Macias made a great pass to Jesus Sanchez, who then crossed the ball into the area but missed Isaac Brizuela and the ball instead fell to Christian Calderon, who had to shot with his right foot straight into Sosa. Mazatlan had another free kick, but this time Gudiño was able to get to the dangerous cross. The last minutes weren’t very exciting as Chivas held on with the lead at halftime.

The second half started with Mazatlan subbing out Luis Angel Mendoza for defender Gonzalo Jara. Chivas had the first chance minutes in when Macias got a ball in the area and made a strong shot, but Sosa was able to make a great stop with his foot. Later Chivas got another chance with a shot from Brizuela that forced Sosa to make a save. Chivas had another chance when Macias got to a cross in the area but headed it wide. Mazatlan made another move when they subbed out Martin Rodriguez for Candido Ramirez. Meanwhile Chivas kept playing with two defensive midfielders (Molina and Jose Javier Vasquez) which seemed odd as they were up a player and weren’t as offensive as they should’ve been. Chivas made their first substitutions by subbing out Uriel Antuna for Ricardo Angulo and Alexis Vega for Javier Lopez, a totally strange move when you still had the two D-mids. Later Mazatlan countered by subbing out Miguel Sansores for Fernando Aristeguieta. Off a corner kick, Hiram Mier fell down and replays showed that it happened because off an elbow to the back of the head by Jara. The ref went to the VAR but instead of showing a clear replay, they gave one from far away and the ref didn’t give the PK. It was a mistake from the ref and the VAR but it was clear that they had a bad shot in the instant replay when the TV broadcast had one much better (where it was clear that Jara elbowed Mier) that wasn’t shown in the VAR. Chivas later subbed out Sanchez for Antonio Briseño in another surprisingly defensive move. Then Vasquez made a foul that dropped Cesar Huerta into Jesus Molina, who looked really hurt in the play and would have to be subbed out. Fernando Beltran came in for Molina and Oribe Peralta for Macias in what were Chivas last moves. Mazatlan meanwhile made their last substitution when Carlos Vargas got subbed out by Sagir Arce. Chivas tried to get one last goal but their attacks seemed very weak as the substitutions didn’t work much. In the final minutes, Calderon made a shot from the half line that tried to surprise Sosa but he was able to get to it in time. The ref blew his whistle and Chivas got the win but it was very far from a good performance.

Chivas got another victory but once again, they continued with the disappointing level of play. Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich once again made some confounding moves, and his substitution looked to have hampered and already struggling team. Worse yet will be the questions in terms of the referee decisions as for the third time in the season, Chivas gets a player advantage and this time it was controversial as many people feel the second yellow was too extreme. Vucetich had two defensive midfielders for most of the game when they were up a player, and then only subbed out Molina because of injury. Chivas will hope Tijuana keeps struggling in their return after having two games postponed because of COVID-19 test results as they travel to a stadium where they constantly struggle. Mazatlan meanwhile keeps struggling, but will have claims that they were unjustly hurt by referee decisions for a second consecutive week. Still with a very tough visit next week to Leon, it seems that Coach Francisco Palencia’s job might be in jeopardy regardless of their bad luck.