Puebla was able to come back from the momentum hit of a late goal in injury time from Chivas that tied the match at 1-1 and forced penalties, getting a win 5-4 in the shootout. It was a hard fought match that at times was controversial, but Chivas was able to get the injury time score and although both teams stepped up in the shootout, the home team was able to continue on in the playoffs. The wins give Puebla the quarterfinal ticket against America, something that Liga MX and network television probably didn’t want as a Chivas win would have meant a Superclasico against America, the biggest match in Mexican football. Yet for Puebla, that is a THEIR problem, and they could be well off for a possible surprise against the first placed America.
The first half started with Chivas coming out with the return of Fernando Beltran, while also making changes and bringing in Cristian Calderon into the starting eleven. Chivas had a great chance when Roberto Alvarado got off a left footed shot that forced Puebla’s goalkeeper Anthony Silva to make a save. The rebound fell to Jesus Sanchez, but his shot was deflected by Maximiliano Araujo before falling to Isaac Brizuela, whose shot into the open net hit the post and went out. Puebla was very lucky to not go down a goal on that play. A cross by Araujo was deflected by Gilbero Sepulveda straight to Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez. The ball bounced off him and into the path of Jordi Cortizo, who headed the ball in, but the goal was correctly disallowed for an offside by Araujo. Puebla gained control of the match, as Chivas had trouble gaining possession or clearing the ball from their area. A cross into the area looked to have been handled by Sepulveda, but the referee failed to give a call. Referee Luis Santander has for years lived with the reputation of being a Chivas fan after failing to give a clear penalty to Tigres during Chivas’ last title, and the call should just add gasoline to that fire. After a good long ball, Alvarado found Alexis Vega in the area, but he wasted his chance by shooting straight at Silva. A left footed shot from Sergio Flores bounced off of Silva, who looked like he had trouble with the sun during the play. The halftime whistle blew and the game remained scoreless.
The second half started with both teams coming out with the same starting eleven. After a couple of even minutes, it was Puebla who would strike. A cross into the area found a wide open Martin Barragan after Sepulveda lost his marking, and he got a header past Jimenez for the 1-0. Minutes later Puebla missed a great chance when a great cross into the area found a wide open Cortizo, but his left footed volley went wide. An incredible foul by Sepulveda hit Araujo in the area, but once again Santander failed to give a penalty. Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez, Cristian Calderon, and Isaac Brizuela for Alan Mozo, Angel Zaldivar, and Cristian Cisneros. Puebla then had another bad miss when Omar Gonzalez got the ball in the area but sent the ball well wide. Chivas answered with a cross into the area that was just headed wide by Cisneros. Puebla then subbed out Omar Gonzalez for Guillermo Martinez. Chivas meanwhile subbed out Gilberto Sepulveda, who had a terrible game, for Santiago Ormeño. Chivas tried for the goal, but their attacks looked desperate and disorganized. Puebla subbed out Martin Barragan and Jordi Cortizo for Amaury Escoto and Ivan Moreno. Chivas had some quick chances, but first Silva and then the defense were able to stop shots in the area. Chivas subbed out Roberto Alvarado for Jesus Ricardo Angulo. A great chance by Chivas was wasted by Zaldivar, who missed a right footed shot well wide instead of making a pass to a wide open Vega. Puebla subbed out Emilio Martinez for Luis Garcia. Vega then got off a shot from outside the area, but he slipped and the ball went into the stands. Then in the 95th minute, a great pass found Carlos Cisneros in the area and he got off a left footed shot past Silva for the 1-1 equalizer. It was a great pass and great play that gifted Chivas a lifeline. There was no time for anything else, and the game went to a penalty kick shootout, the only one in the repechaje.
The PK shootout started with Chivas taking the first PK. Alexis Vegas stepped up to take the PK and scored the 1-0. Diego de Buen took the first Puebla PK and tied it up 1-1. Alan Mozo then stepped up to take the next PK, and his right footed shot placed the score 2-1. Federico Mancuello then stepped up and although Jimenez guessed right, his shot went right through his hands for the 2-2. Santiago Ormeño went next, and his shot went in for the 3-2. Guillermo Martinez then took the next PK and scored the 3-3. Jesus Ricardo Angulo stepped up to take the PK and slipped as he took the shot, and it hit the post. Israel Reyes then got the next one and lobbed the ball in a Panenka to score the 4-3. Angel Zaldivar took a left footed shot that went past Silva for the 4-4. Amaury Escoto then stepped up to take it and scored the 5-4 to get Puebla to the next round, ending Chivas’ season as well as the opportunity to have the Superclasico.
Once again in a repechaje, Puebla defeated Chivas in a penalty shootout at home. A year later after Puebla defeated Chivas in the Apertura 2021, Puebla gets another win at home over Guadalajara. Puebla got a deserved win, although the late goal really put them in a tough situation, although it had saved from a tough news cycle that would have had criticism all over because of referee’s Santander’s job. Santander has never lived down the controversial decision in the last Chivas title where he failed to give Tigres an injury time penalty that could have tied the second leg 2-2 in bad call. Tonight he missed two possible PKs for Puebla, cementing his reputation as beneficial in his job to Chivas. For Chivas, it’s another bad failure as the most popular team in Mexico is once again far from being one of the top teams with another failure at the repechaje. It was bad enough for Chivas that they barely got to the postseason, but that they failed in the first round, a round that many people feel is extra since it allows 12 out of 18 teams to qualify instead of the old format that only gave 8 teams the chance to play in the post season. Puebla will now face America and although America will be heavily favored, Puebla will be a tough hurdle and are in a prime position to upset since they have little to lose and a lot to gain.