Club America got a convincing friendly win over their archrivals Chivas in the Cotton Bowl by a 2-0 margin. Both teams took advantage of the FIFA break to play in front of a big lively crowd in Dallas. Coach Santiago Solari continues to lead an America side that’s undefeated since the start of the season, gaining acclaim while it’s been the total opposite for Chivas coach Victor Manuel Vucetich. Both teams will now prepare for the return of Liga MX play this weekend as America hosts Mazatlan while Chivas travels to Mexico City to face Pumas.
The first half started with both teams having strong squads for a FIFA date friendly. The big news was the return of Chivas of Hiram Mier and Oribe Peralta while America had the return of Nicolas Benedetti. It took less than a minute for things to get going. After a terrible mistake by Chivas in which Fernando Beltran lost the ball after a challenge by Pedro Aquino, the ball fell right to Federico Viñas who got a left footed shot past Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Gudiño for the 1-0 lead. With Chivas trailing, they immediately went on the attack but although they had more possession, they weren’t creating much. Chivas had their best opportunity when a good run by Jesus Ricardo Angulo into the area that ended with Isaac Brizuela getting the ball but his left footed shot bounced off an America defender. America responded with an even better opportunity when Benedetti got into the area and got off a shot, but it went wide. A clash of heads between Fernando Madrigal and Jesus Molina looked to have injured both but they remained in the match, with Molina emerging heavily bandaged. After a great play by Angulo, he made a pass to Brizuela who took too long to shoot and it was blocked, wasting a great chance. America had a good one when a great long range shot from Madrigal was brilliantly saved by Gudiño. Chivas had their best chance just prior to halftime, when Jesus Ricardo Angulo got off a right footed shot that hit the post but unfortunately for Chivas, it fell to Molina who whiffed on the shot. The halftime whistle blew and Chivas would rue that missed opportunity.
The second half started with Chivas changing goalkeepers by subbing out Raul Gudiño for Miguel Jimenez. Jimenez would have to come up big off of a free kick to clear a ball in what was the first opportunity in the second half, just ten minutes in. America had another shot from Madrigal but it went wide. America came close again when a shot from Viñas also went just wide. With Chivas not creating danger they decided to make moves. Jesus Molina, Fernando Beltran, and Miguel Ponce were subbed out for Eduardo Torres, Jesus Godinez, and Sergio Flores. The changes didn’t seem to pay off as they didn’t improve the offense. America subbed out Emanuel Aguilera and Nicolas Benedetti for Jordan Silva and Alvaro Fidalgo. After a cross into the area by Angulo bounced off an America defender, Chivas protested for a penalty kick but replays showed that it wasn’t intentional. America then subbed out Pedro Aquino for Mario Osuna; meanwhile Chivas subbed out Isaac Brizuela for Ronaldo Cisneros. The game started to get a little chippy and even Chivas defender Antonio Briseño got a yellow card while on the bench for protesting. Chivas subbed out Jesus Ricardo Angulo for Angel Zaldivar, while America subbed out Federico Viñas for Luis Gutierrez. The match then had to be stopped for minutes because of smoke made by America’s fans. America then subbed out Mauro Lainez for Emilio Lara. Gutierrez then got a ball in the area but his shot was saved by Jimenez. Chivas had the best opportunity in the second half when a longball wasn’t handled well by Jordan Silva and the ball fell to Ronaldo Cisneros, who tried to lob the ball over America’s goalkeeper Oscar Jimenez. Jimenez however got a hand on the ball, which allowed the ball to then be cleared by Silva. It was a great opportunity that Cisneros missed badly. To make matters worse for Chivas in the last minute of the match, a cross by Salvador Reyes was deflected into the path of Emilio Lara, who got off a left footed shot past Miguel Jimenez for the 2-0 lead. There was no time for anything else and America had clinched the deserved win.
While it was just a club friendly, the strong rivalry between the teams made for an interesting match, much more intense than a normal friendly. America will get a boost as they continue to play well under Coach Solari. They also get bragging rights over a Chivas team that is struggling both in Mexico and now the United States. Chivas will have a tough match away to Pumas, and now will have to cope with the injury to Alexis Vega during his national team activity, making things worse besides the loss. America will get the boost from the win as they receive a team like Mazatlan that already got a win in Estadio Azteca during the season when they played against Cruz Azul but won’t be favored to repeat that result.