Chivas got their third straight victory to set the path to the repechaje after getting a 1-0 win over Atlas. It was a lackluster Clasico Tapatio, as the game had terrible stretches where both teams neutralized each other and there was no need for goalkeepers in the first half. Chivas has now put together a three game winning streak that has solidified their place in the Repechaje, although they will still have a tough matchup against Tigres on Saturday. Atlas will now close out their season against Necaxa, in a match that seems easier but it’s a match in which their whole season will be in play.
The first half started with the return of Jesus Molina to the starting lineup after missing the Monterrey match because of injury. Meanwhile Atlas once again gave the starting forward spot to Milton Caraglio instead of Julio Furch. As expected in a Clasico, the game had very even minutes with a lot of strong tackles. The first shot of the match was by Isaac Brizuela, but it went straight into the arms of Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. The first yellow card came from a bad tackle from Renato Ibarra on Jesus Sanchez, as Chivas protested for a red card but the referee didn’t change it. The game started to get chippy, with both teams committing fouls as they traded possession and failed to create any danger. Later a strong foul from Aldo Rocha got another yellow card, although replays showed that it might have been a red card but the referee didn’t go to VAR. The halftime whistle blew ending a truly wretched display of football.
The second started with Jose Juan Macias being subbed out for Angel Zaldivar, in a very strange substitution from Chivas coach Victor Manuel Vucetich. It looked like Jesus Molina had been injured after a foul by Atlas but he remained in the game. Atlas had the first opportunity off the game when a pass by Victor Malcorra found Milton Caraglio in the area, who got a shot off in the area that forced Chivas’s goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez to make a great save. Chivas then subbed out Jesus Molina and Uriel Antuna for Sergio Flores and Fernando Beltran. As Atlas was playing their best, their goalkeeper Camilo Vargas started to have cramps and forced the game to a stand still. Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez for Cesar Huerta, while Atlas subbed out Milton Caraglio and Jeremy Marquez for Julio Furch and Edgar Zaldivar. Minutes later a cross by David Barbosa went way out and turned into a shot that hit the post after Rodriguez failed to clear it. Then after a clash that had Alexis Vega sending Jesus Alberto Angulo flying, Vega then sent a pass past Vargas and then Angel Zaldivar backheeled the ball into the empty net for the 1-0. Atlas players called for a foul, but replays weren’t clear and the goal stood. Atlas subbed out Jairo Torres and Victor Malcorra for Cristopher Trejo and Jonathan Herrera. Atlas had a header that was easily saved by Rodriguez. Chivas made their last move by subbing out Jesus Ricardo Angulo for Antonio Briseño. There was a bad clash of heads by Renato Ibarra and Sergio Flores, with both looking injured but remaining in the match. Atlas then subbed out Aldo Rocha for Javier Correa. Atlas had a great opportunity when a ball by Atlas went into the area and Trejo got it in front of keeper Rodriguez, but his shot hit the post. It was the best opportunity for the hosts, but it didn’t go and Chivas took the three points.
The Clasico Tapatio rose to give some exciting play in the final minutes but overall it was a disappointment, including a first half that could be in the running for the worst of the season in Mexico. Still Chivas rose up at key times, and with a controversial play was able to get a key win that has them all the way to eighth place. It seems their place in the repechaje is all but secure, although they will be playing a direct rival in Tigres on Saturday at home. Atlas meanwhile has the same number of points but the loss has them in potential relegation trouble. While there is no relegation and Atlas would lose only monetary value on the surface, as the “relegated” team, they wouldn’t be able to play in the Liguilla and their season will end if they fail to get a win against struggling Necaxa and Atletico San Luis does get a win against Pachuca.