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Chivas shocks Leon to grab first victory of the season

Chivas surprised everybody by getting a 3-1 victory away against Liga MX champions Leon.

Leon v Chivas - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

Chivas surprised everybody by getting their first victory of the season, defeating current Liga MX Champion Leon in an away match by a score of 3-1. Chivas was able to hold on after an early offensive start from Leon and struck at the right time to get the shocking win. Leon meanwhile continue a season in which they have been very inconsistent, probably from the after effects of the title they got in December. They will now have to travel and face an improving Tijuana. Chivas meanwhile will return home and look to have a great candidate to get their first home win of the season as they face Necaxa.

The first half started with Chivas surprising by benching normal starter Alexis Vega for Jesus Ricardo Angulo. Early on as expected, Leon took control of the match but Chivas did well to stop their early attacks. Minutes later there was a scuffle between Luis Montes and Jesus Molina that resulted in both players getting yellow cards. Leon had a great opportunity when Victor Davila got a left footed shot from outside the area, but the ball went just wide. It was all Leon but to the surprise of everybody it was Chivas who scored first. Jesus Sanchez was given time and space and got off a long range right footed shot past goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco for the 1-0 lead. Not only was this Chivas’ first shot of the match, but it was the first time they had a any clear offensive idea in a game where they had barely made it past the halfway line.

Leon tried to answer back and they looked to have scored, but the goal was ruled for a handball. Leon continued to have more of the possession but they weren’t creating much danger. Chivas once again had a great opportunity when Jose Juan Macias made a great play, lobbing the ball past a defender and getting a shot off that forced Blanco to make a save. It would have been a great goal had it gone in. Leon had another opportunity when a bad clearance by Chivas left the ball in the area for William Tesillo to get a left footed shot that went wide. Then off a counter attack, Chivas would add a second. Alejandro Mayorga started the counter with a great run and found Uriel Antuna, whose shot was blocked by Blanco. The ball fell to Jose Juan Macias, who calmly went by Tesillo and got a right footed shot past Blanco to make it 2-0. Chivas had gotten a strong lead even when Leon had most of the possession. The halftime whistle blew and Chivas had surprised everybody as Leon would rue their lack of offensive power up front.

The second half started with Leon trying to answer back, and Chivas seeing if they could hold on to their lead. Minutes later there was another scuffle like in the first half after a foul to Antonio Briseño, It ended up with Victor Davila getting a yellow card because of the original foul. Leon had a great opportunity in a three-on-three counter attack that finished with a shot by Jose Ramirez, forcing Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Gudiño to make a save. Leon had another opportunity when Joel Campbell had a left footed shot from outside the area but it went wide. It looked like Chivas had everything under control but then off a free kick, past mistakes started appearing. Luis Montes got a free kick into the area and Antonio Briseño did a terrible job clearing the ball, and headed it past Gudiño for an own goal to bring the score to 2-1. It was a bad mistake on the ball, something that has happened a couple of times to Briseño, who confuses intensity with recklessness.

Trying to take advantage, Leon subbed out Angel Mena for Emanuel Gigliotti. Chivas meanwhile looked to start defending by subbing out Jesus Molina for defender Gilberto Sepulveda. Leon came close again to scoring with Campbell getting a left footed shot inside the area, but it went wide. Leon took control of the match and kept pushing into the area as it looked like Chivas was going to extremely sit back. Then a key play happened when Hiram Mier was brought down by a late tackle from William Tesillo, which earned the Leon player a straight red card. Mier looked to be badly injured and the red was the right decision. Even though they were down a player, Leon got an opportunity after a counter lead to a scramble in the area that was finished by a shot from Jean Meneses that was saved by Gudiño. Chivas subbed out Uriel Antuna, Jesus Sanchez, and Jesus Ricardo Angula for Carlos Cisneros, Sergio Flores, and Alexis Vega. Leon came close a couple of times with shots from Gigliotti that went wide. Then off a counter Alexis Vega got into the area and took on Blanco before sending a pass into the area. Surprisingly there was nobody in the area but the ball still rolled into the path of Alejandro Mayorga, who was outside the area and took a left footed shot that went it for the 3-1 lead. Chivas subbed out Jose Juan Macias for Fernando Beltran and Leon subbed out Ivan Rodriguez and Jean Meneses for Fernando Navarro and Osvaldo Rodriguez. The third goal seemed to have killed Leon, and Chivas twice had three-on-one counter attacks that they wasted. The final minutes had Chivas passing the ball around while Leon seemed shocked and done, the red card and third goal being too high of a mountain to climb. The referee blew the whistle and Chivas shocked everybody with their first victory coming against the Liga MX champions.

Chivas’ season had been disappointing, and the word crisis was mentioned constantly. In fact there were strong rumors that a loss would mean that Victor Manuel Vucetich’s tenure as Chivas coach might come to an end after prior bad losses to Atletico San Luis and FC Juarez. But Chivas came through and although Leon had most of the possession, they were able to hold their offense in check. Chivas improved offensively especially with players like Alejandro Mayorga stepping up big to take advantage of their opportunities. Meanwhile Leon failed to create much danger for all of their possession and the terrible red card from Tesillo, doomed the team when they looked to be improving. Leon has been having severe offensive woes and they continued tonight as even their only goal was scored by a Chivas defender. They will have a tough battle against sometimes rival Tijuana. Chivas meanwhile will be heavily favored against a struggling Necaxa at home.