America had their best result of the season as they embarrassed their biggest rival with a 3-0 victory away in Guadalajara. Newcomer Coach Santiago Solari had a great performance in his Clasico Nacional debut as coach, clearly dominating Chivas’ coach Victor Manuel Vucetich who made a puzzling substitution that ended up totally handicapping his team, especially after they went down to ten players because of it. Chivas will now have to wait a long time to bounce back, as next week’s match against Monterrey was postponed because of the 2021 CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers, where Chivas had six players called up and thus were able to postpone the match because of it. Club America will now make their first trip to Mazatlan to face the local team on Friday.
The first half started with Chivas seeing Fernando Beltran return to the starting lineup because of Eduardo Torres having a positive COVID-19 test. America would come out with their normal lineup, including the start of Mauro Lainez. A mistake by America allowed Chivas a great opportunity when Jesus Ricardo Angulo got the ball in the area but his left footed shot went inches wide. America answered with a shot by Richard Sanchez that went wide. After a couple of even minutes, America suddenly started to gain possession while Chivas started to have trouble getting the ball, however they were able to handle America defensively. America had a great opportunity when a cross into the area found Henry Martin, who then made a great pass to Alvaro Fidalgo but his shot went well wide. America had taken control of the match, and was now dominating Chivas. Fidalgo would later get off a shot, but Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Gudiño got an easy save. Off of a free kick, Sebastian Cordova got a great long range left footed shot that forced Gudiño to make another save. America continued to have more possession, but Chivas started to fight back and although they looked once again to not have much offensive idea, they at least had the ball more. Then off a free kick, Sebastian Cordova made a good cross and in the middle of the defense, Henry Martin rose to head the ball beautifully and the ball rose over Raul Gudiño for the 1-0. It was the last play of the half and although the result was fair, it was a tremendous hit for Chivas.
The second half started with Chivas subbing out Fernando Beltran and Uriel Antuna for Cristian Calderon and Angel Zaldivar. Chivas needed to try something different, but with the lead America started to sit back and try to counter. Chivas had some decent ideas like Alejandro Mayorga getting into the area before getting stopped by America’s defense, but America would have a great opportunity that Henry Martin wasted. Chivas would then sub out Alejandro Mayorga and Jose Juan Macias for Jesus Sanchez and Miguel Angel Ponce in a baffling substitution. Macias is the top striker in the team, while Mayorga had been one of the few surprises from Chivas, and to sub them out as you are trailing for two defenders was surprising to say the least. Ponce made a great play when he found Zaldivar in the area, but he wasted the best chance with a left footed shot that went wide. America subbed out Mauro Lainez for Leonardo Suarez. Minutes later Miguel Angel Ponce went terribly into Suarez and got a straight red card. Victor Manuel Vucetich’s controversial decision had backfired just minutes later.
America would have great opportunity when Jorge Sanchez made a great move and found Cordova in the area, but his right footed shot was deflected into a corner kick. Then off that corner kick, Sebastian Caceres rose to head the ball into the path of Henry Martin, who easily headed the ball past Raul Gudiño for the 2-0. The goal turned the crowd against Chivas, and suddenly the chants of “oles” whenever America passed the ball were loudly heard. Minutes later, a combination play had Sebastian Cordova get into the area with the ball and lobbed the ball over Gudiño for the 3-0. Chivas looked defeated, the red card really hitting the team’s momentum. America started to play with flair, and had another chance when Pedro Aquino got a shot off that was saved by Gudiño as boos started to go off against Chivas players. America would sub out Henry Martin for Federico Viñas. Chivas though almost responded with a goal but a shot by Angulo went just wide. America then subbed out Sebastian Cordova, Jorge Sanchez, and Pedro Aquino for Roger Martine, Bryan Colula, and Santiago Naveda. Chivas made their final move by subbing out Jesus Ricardo Angulo for Sergio Flores. America had one more chance when Martinez got into the area but he decided to pass instead of shooting in a strange play, and wasted it. The ref would end up not giving any extra time, and America had a solid victory and embarrassed their rival at their home.
It was a disastrous performance from Chivas and for their coach Victor Manuel Vucetich. Not only was his substitution of Macias and Mayorga a terrible decision, it backfired in the worst way when Ponce got red carded almost immediately. Chivas was done with the game after going down to ten players. To make matters worse, the fact they postponed their next match against Monterrey, while good in terms of rest for the players, will now bring a lot of time for fans to speculate and pressure the players. Chivas has looked terrible throughout the season at times, but they have hit rock bottom in every way this Sunday night. Club America meanwhile will be high in spirits. While America had been getting the results, fans weren’t very happy with the level of play shown. They will be happy now with the play and the fact they gave such a great performance against their biggest rival. Coach Santiago Solari has had the biggest statement so far and will gain a lot of credit with fans as they currently sit in second place and seem to be improving as the season progresses. Their match against Mazatlan could boost the team even more, although they must be careful to settle back down to earth and not put a brake on their increasing momentum.