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Chivas in crisis mode after 2-1 defeat to FC Juarez

Juarez holds on to get a 2-1 victory against a struggling Chivas side.

Chivas v FC Juarez - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

FC Juarez surprised Chivas by defeating them 2-1 and getting their first win of the season. Juarez had only scored a single goal prior but they scored twice on the evening, dominating the first half and then holding on defensively to get the victory. Chivas meanwhile has failed to win a game so far in this season, and once again they displayed a poor defensive game despite improving in the second half. It was too little too late, and they will now have a super difficult away game against current champion Leon, so their crisis might extend for a week. FC Juarez will have to make a third consecutive away trip, this time to face Puebla, considering they were scheduled to play Tigres at home next week, but the game is postponed because of the Club World Cup taking place.

The first half started with Chivas coming out with their top starting lineup, including Jose Juan Macias at forward and Fernando Beltran at midfield. Still it was FC Juarez who first got an opportunity when a shot from Dario Lezcano forced Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Gudiño to make a good save off it. FC Juarez continued to attack, but a Lezcano failed to find anybody with a pass into the area. Chivas had their first chance off a corner kick, when Gilberto Sepulveda rose alone to get a free header, but it went wide. Still Juarez looked dangerous and they would score their first of the season when Lezcano got a ball in the area and got off a right footed shot past Gudiño for the 1-0 lead.

Juarez continued to dominate, as it was clear they had gotten the upper hand from the start. Chivas came close again when Alexis Vega made a good play in the area, and his cross/shot was just missed by Macias. Juarez came close again when after Chivas made a mistake and lost the ball, Lezcano found Marco Fabian and he got a great shot that forced Gudiño to make a great save. FC Juarez struck again when a pass by Fabian was back heeled by Lezcano, finding Matias Garcia who got a left footed shot past Gudiño to make it 2-0 for the visitors. Lezcano was playing well and totally dominating the poor defensive play from Chivas.

Chivas tried to answer back off a free kick when Macias rose to head a ball, but his header hit the post. Chivas came close again off a free kick when, Hiram Mier dove to head the ball but his header was deflected out for a corner kick. Macias had another shot that forced Enrique Palos, FC Juarez’s goalkeeper, to make a stop that was cleared by the defense. The ref blew the whistle as things looked terrible for Chivas.

The second half started with Chivas subbing out Gilberto Sepulveda, Miguel Angel Ponce, and Fernando Beltran (who was surprisingly poor) for Antonio Briseño, Alejandro Mayorga, and Jesus Ricardo Angulo. Chivas came really close to scoring off a free kick when Vega took a great shot that hit the post, and luckily for Juarez, bounced off the post and the hit the face off Enrique Palos which indirectly saved a sure goal before the ball was cleared. Juarez then subbed Matias Garcia out for Luis Pavez. Chivas had improved since halftime and had a good opportunity when Vegas made a nice pass, but Uriel Antuna couldn’t reach the ball. Chivas then subbed out Jesus Molina for Alan Torres, while Juarez subbed out Flavio Santos for Andres Iniestra. Chivas had a good opportunity when Antuna got tackled by Palos outside the area and although Chivas thought he should have been red carded, the referee gave a yellow card. Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez for Cesar Huerta, their last substitution of the game. Chivas were unlucky not to score when off a corner kick, Briseño rose to make a great header but it went inches wide. Then minutes later, after a great cross by Antuna, Jose Juan Macias rose to get a good header past Palos to make it 2-1. Chivas continued to push against an FC Juarez that looked to be declining fast. FC Juarez subbed out Marco Fabian for Jesus Zavala. Although Chivas pressured and the final minutes were all in the area, they couldn’t break through the Juarez defense and the game ended with their first home loss of the season.

The loss against a team like FC Juarez, a team who they should be favored playing at home, is the most recent setback on a bad start for Chivas. While the team hasn’t face any team who is considered to be a title contender, they have yet to get a win. Although they improved in the second half, especially on offense, their defensive work has been terrible and cost them back to back defeats. Now they will have a very tough task as they face champions Leon away. FC Juarez meanwhile get a huge boost from the victory. Inexplicably they have their third straight away game which is an example of bad scheduling from Liga MX. Still with the improved play shown tonight, they might be a strong candidate to at least make the repechaje.