Chivas and America once again battled to a 0-0 tie in a very disappointing Superclasico. Chivas had a terrible result when they couldn’t win at home against an America side that not only came into the game in last place but also went down to ten players for most of the second half after a red card. America got a good result after having only having ten players and with an interim coach, but once again the biggest game in Mexican football failed to live up to the fans’ lofty expectations. Chivas will have a chance to make up for this match as they face their second biggest game of the season, current Liga MX champions Atlas, while America returns home to face Toluca.
The first half started with the surprise that the injured Alexis Vega was able to start the match. Vega went along with Roberto Alvarado and Jesus Ricardo Angulo up top, although Chivas went without a target forward. America meanwhile had the surprise of having Diego Valdes on the bench as they started with Roger Martinez and Federico Viñas up top. Chivas started as the better team, with America sitting back. As expected the game was very even with neither team able to create much danger. A good pass into the area found Vega, but he couldn’t control the ball before it went out. Although he got off a good cross on the play, it didn’t count because of it. Angulo then got the ball into the area and got off a left footed shot that went just wide. After a corner kick, the ball was cleared but returned to the area where Vega made a great pass that found Hiram Mier. Mier hit a left footed shot and scored, but was correctly ruled to have been offside. A cross into the area found Viñas, whose header was brilliantly saved by Chivas’ keeper Miguel Jimenez, but this was also ruled to be offside. Chivas had the best chance of the game so far when Vega got a right footed shot that was deflected by a an America player and then hit the post. Roger Martinez got off a great left footed shot from outside the area and forced Jimenez to make a great save. On the ensuing corner kick, Martinez ended up accidentally falling on Luis Olivas, who looked like he was badly injured in the play. Olivas needed medical attention because of the play, which was the last one of the first half.
The second half started with the news that because of the injury, Olivas had been subbed out for Antonio Briseño. Off of a corner kick, Hiram Mier would rose to get a header that hit the post. After that, the ball rebounded and trying to clear the ball, Jonathan Dos Santos accidentally kicked Sebastian Perez Bouqet in the face. Because of the play, Dos Santos was shown his second yellow card and thus a red card. America was now down to ten players from the 52nd minute onward. Perez Bouquet later got into the area with a great run but Vega took the ball off him and his left footed shot went well wide. Later, after a cross by Alvarado fell to Angulo, he got off a left footed shot that was saved by America’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Chivas subbed out Miguel Angel Ponce for Jose Juan Macias. A cross into the area just missed by Macias. The referee then stopped the match to have the players do the 62nd minute hugs in the center of the field to combat the incidents from last Saturday. America then subbed out Federico Viñas and Alvaro Fidalgo for Henry Martin and Santiago Naveda. Incredibly, Alvarado started to play in Ponce’s left back position instead of staying up the field to take advantage of the ten players that America had. America subbed out Alejandro Zendejas and Roger Martinez for Diego Valdes and Jordan Silva. A ball then got into the area, but Alvarado failed to control it and wasn’t able to get off a shot. Chivas subbed out Isaac Brizuela, Roberto Alvarado, and Fernando Beltran for Carlos Cisneros, Cristian Calderon, and Angel Zaldivar. A cross into the area from America found Bruno Valdez, but his header went right to Jimenez. Later, a shot from Valdes came real close to going in. Even though America had only ten players, they still threatened a Chivas team that had no ideas. After a cross, Jimenez had to come out and clear the ball before it fell to an America player. Miguel Layun was then subbed out for Jorge Sanchez. Zaldivar got the ball in the area and got off a terrible left footed shot that went wide. It was the last chance,and the full time whistle blew, as the crowd booed and chanted for the firing of Coach Michel Leaño.
The scoreless tie was a terrible result for Chivas. If the fact that America came in as the away team and in last place was bad enough before the match, but the fact that they went down to ten players and Chivas wasn’t able to get the win or even score is a terrible sign for the team. At times it looked like Chivas was doing worse up a player, and the fact that in the end America was as dangerous as Chivas was a terrible sign. Coach Michel Leaño left a bad taste in the home fans’ mouths, and with next week having Chivas play the Clasico Tapatio against Atlas, who not only are their biggest rivals but for the first time since 1951 they will be coming in as champions. If Chivas gets another type of performance like the one shown this Saturday night, it probably will be the end ofhis job. Club America’s fans might not be happy with the result either, but it should be because of the high expectations they have for their club. The fact of the matter is that with an interim coach in Fernando Ortiz and with them having only ten players for a good part of the match, a tie on the road is a good result. Still, they are still in last place and will need to pick things up at home against Toluca. It will be little comfort that in their worst season in years, neither Chivas nor Pumas could get a win against them in their respective clasicos.