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Pachuca comes back to bounce Chivas out of the playoffs 4-2, qualify to the quarterfinals

Pachuca got a 4-2 win over Chivas to eliminate the Jalisco team and end the opportunity of a Superclasico in the Liguilla.

Pachuca v Chivas - Playoff Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pachuca came back from trailing early and being at a disadvantage at halftime to defeat Chivas by a 4-2 score and get their ticket to the quarterfinals. Pachuca took advantage of Chivas terrible defensive display and Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich once again having questionable substitutions to get a victory after a great second half, although they had been the better side for most of the game. Pachuca will now face Club America in the quarterfinals, where they will be heavy underdogs but at least will have a chance while Chivas will have to wait for two months after a defeat that concludes a season that has to be judged as a failure.

The first half started with both teams coming out with the starting lineup they had been using to close out the tournament, which was a successful run for both. After a couple of minutes where Chivas had done better, Pachuca had an incredible chance after Roberto de la Rosa got a shot off that forced Chivas’ goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez to make a great save, sending the ball wide to hit the post, coming within inches of opening the scoring. Chivas responded well with a header from Jesus Molina being just wide. Then in a great counter, Alexis Vega made a great pass into the area that Uriel Antuna played well, finding the ball and getting a shot past Pachuca’s goalkeeper Oscar Ustari for the 1-0 lead. After a strong foul from Gustavo Cabral that earned the defender a yellow, Vega looked to have been injured and had to come out to get treatment from the foul however he did return to the match. Pachuca had a good chance after a bad shot from Ismael Sosa bounced off De la Rosa, turning into a good deflection that forced Rodriguez to make a save. Pachuca came close when Cabral volleyed a shot but the ball ended going wide. Pachuca came close again with another shot by De la Rosa as Pachuca had gained controlled of the match and Chivas was sitting back. Pachuca came close late in the half with a corner kick where Oscar Murillo got a free header but unluckily for him, it went right into the hands of Rodriguez. The halftime whistle blew and Chivas had a good lead but Pachuca had done enough to get a goal.

The second half started with Chivas subbing out Jose Juan Macias for Angel Zaldivar. Minutes into the half, Chivas had a great opportunity when Isaac Brizuela found Antuna, who got a right footed shot that forced Ustari to make a great save. Chivas had another chance when Jesus Ricardo Angulo got a shot from outside the area that went wide. Then off a corner kick, Oscar Murillo rose high to head a ball that got deflected past Rodriguez to even the score at 1-1. Pachuca then subbed out Tony Figueroa and Felipe Pardo for Victor Guzman and Romario Ibarra. Chivas would respond by subbing out Jesus Ricardo Angulo and Jesus Molina for Fernando Beltran and Eduardo Torres. Chivas had more of the ball as they tried to recover the lead but were not creating any danger. Pachuca subbed out Luis Chavez and Gustavo Cabral for Jorge Hernandez and Miguel Herrera. A minute later, Chivas lost the ball and gave Roberto de la Rosa a one-on-one after Luis Olivas failed to get to the ball. de la Rosa got the ball into the area and his shot went under Jose Rodriguez for the 2-1 lead for Pachuca. Pachuca had taken the lead and were primed to defend it against a Chivas team that looked to be deflating. Chivas needed to respond and made their final moves by subbing out Jesus Sanchez and Miguel Ponce for Cesar Huerta and Cristian Calderon. Pachuca then made their last move by subbing out Ismael Sosa for Matias Catalan. Pachuca could have finished it when Romario Ibarra got the ball in the area and his left footed shot forced Rodriguez to make a save. Erick Aguirre got the rebound but he failed to volley the ball and his terrible shot fell to Ibarra but it crashed into Rodriguez. Chivas almost answered after a great play from Antuna but his shot from outside the area just went inches wide. Pachuca had another great shot from Catalan that forced Rodriguez to make a save. Then off the ensuing corner kick, once again Oscar Murillo rose to head a ball from close range past Rodriguez for the 3-1 lead. Chivas looked to be desperate and knew they were in deep trouble. Later after Chivas lost a ball, Roberto de la Rosa got a shot off from outside the area past Rodriguez to make it 4-1 for the home side. Then off a cross into the area, Antuna tried to get to the ball but got pushed by Ibarra, and the referee gave Chivas a penalty kick. Uriel Antuna took it and his right footed shot went past Ustari to make it 4-2. Then off a clearance it looked like Huerta had punched Erick Aguirre but the ref failed to call it. The whistle blew and Pachuca had clinched their ticket to the Quarterfinals as Chivas limped away.

Pachuca gave a very good performance in coming back from being a goal down even when they were playing better than Chivas. In the second half they got a quick goal and got a deserved result against a Chivas side who collapsed defensively. Pachuca will have a tough hurdle against America in the quarterfinals but have shown that they are improving and will be a tough test for America as they playing the best they have in 2021. Meanwhile Chivas end their season with another failure as fans will not be happy with the result under Vucetich. Chivas had defensive troubles all season an their final stretch of wins were a mirage, as the team hadn’t really improved in certain areas and took advantage of facing inferior opposition or lucky events that benefited them like the red card that Monterrey got at home when they played Chivas. With Chivas’ players not living up to expectations and with the directiva not showing they have much idea on what to do and how much it will cost for the team to improve, it seems things look murky for Chivas’ future seasons.