Chivas wasted what had been the best half of football they played in the season and were lucky to get a 1-1 tie out of their away match to Pachuca. Chivas dominated the first half, but were the complete opposite in the second. Chivas took the lead and should have gotten the win, but they wasted a penalty kick. Pachuca improved but will be kicking themselves for failing to get their first victory of the season after missing the PK. Chivas will return to Guadalajara where they will face struggling Pumas, while Pachuca a tough visit to Mexico City to face first placed Club America.
The first half started with the surprise of Pachuca coming out with Bryan Gonzalez, of the 2019 U17 World Cup team that gave Mexico a second place finish, as a starter. Chivas meanwhile benched Uriel Antuna for Alexis Vega. Pachuca had the first chance, and it was a header by Gonzalez that was saved by Chivas’ keeper Raul Gudiño. Chivas had a good start in pressuring Pachuca, but even when they won several balls in dangerous territory they wasted every chance. Pachuca had another chance when Francisco Figueroa got off a long range shot that forced Gudiño to make a save. Chivas finally got a chance and made Pachuca pay. Off a corner kick, Jesus Molina rose to head the ball and Pachuca’s goalkeeper Oscar Ustari got a hand to it, but he failed to clear it and the ball went past and in for the 1-0 lead. It was a solid header, but Ustari should have done better with the save. Chivas looked to threaten again when Alexis Vega took a long range shot as he slipped, and yet it was still close enough to worry Ustari but it went wide. Vega later would waste and incredible chance when a great cross by Isaac Brizuela who found him wide open in the area, but his header went straight to Ustari, who still had to make a great save to get the ball. Chivas came close again when a pass in the area found Jose Juan Macias, but his back heel shot was blocked by a defender. Chivas had been overly superior, although they hadn’t created much danger for all their possession. The halftime whistle blew and the 1-0 lead was too short a score for what had happened on the field.
The second half started with Pachuca subbing out Jahaziel Marchand for Luis Chavez. Chivas had the first chance of the half when Jesus Ricardo Angulo found Macias in the area, but his shot was saved by Ustari. A couple of moments later, Pachuca had a great opportunity when a cross got into the area, but Mauro Quiroga’s shot was blocked by Antonio Briseño. Minutes later off a corner kick, the ball got headed to a wide open Gustavo Cabral and as all Chivas defenders asked for a non existent offside, he got to the ball and shot it past Gudiño for the 1-1 tie. Minutes later Pachuca pressured again with a shot forcing a save by Gudiño. Pachuca came incredibly close when a cross by Chavez turned into a shot that forced Gudiño to make a save. The ball was left in the area and without a keeper, but incredibly Quiroga got a free header and headed it straight to a post when he had a wide open net. Pachuca was incredibly unlucky but they were dominating the game completely as the tables had turned in the second half. Pachuca would hit the post again when Quiroga rose to head a cross but it hit the top bar. Chivas needed to make changes and subbed out Jesus Angulo and Alexis Vega for Fernando Beltran and Uriel Antuna. Pachuca subbed out Bryan Gonzalez for Santiago Mosquera. Later Pachuca subbed out Francisco Figueroa for Ismael Sosa. Pachuca would get a chance but Mosquera got into the area and he decided to cross instead of shooting, wasting the opportunity. Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez and Jesus Molina for Carlos Cisneros and Angel Zaldivar. Chivas had a good opportunity when after a combination play, Antuna got into the area but his shot was saved by Ustari. Pachuca subbed out struggling Mauro Quiroga and Erick Aguirre for Roberto de la Rosa and Erick Sanchez. Then after another another play by Mosquera, he got off a cross that incredibly Hiram Mier handled for a clear penalty kick that was called by the ref. Roberto de la Rosa stepped up to take the penalty, and his right footed shot was saved by Gudiño. Chivas made their final move by subbing out Macias for Sergio Flores. After a couple of minutes, the game ended and Chivas came out with a tie which considering their play earlier, was a terribly disappointing result.
Chivas went from a match in which they looked to give the performance of the season at halftime to a result that will now have the alarms sounding off again. Were it not because of Raul Gudiño’s stop of the penalty kick, Chivas would have lost against the last place team and allowed Pachuca to have scored as many goals as they had coming into the game. Chivas once again had numerous defensive mistakes, and it was worse after their performance in the first half where they had complete control of the match. Pachuca meanwhile improved a little but they wasted a good opportunity and continued to disappoint in the season. Striker Mauro Quiroga continues to have a wretched season, and struggling prospect Roberto de la Rosa has another setback to his career that has failed to live up to expectations so far. Pachuca will now have a tough visit against Club America where a bad loss might spell the end for Coach Paulo Pezzolano. Chivas will now have a home game against a struggling Pumas, who haven’t score a goal in five games. A loss against them though might also threaten coach Victor Manuel Vucetich’s job.