Chivas got their thirrd straight win under interim coach Ricardo Cadena as they defeated Pumas 3-1. Chivas was the better side and took full advantage of a hurt Pumas to grab a key win that guarantees the post season for them a game before the season ends. On the other hand, Pumas ends a terrible day for them that started with the news that striker Juan Ignacio Dinenno would miss the match against Chivas and the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final because of an injury. Now with the loss, they are all but out of the repechaje with just one match against left and against first placed Pachuca. Meanwhile Chivas will travel to Aguascalientes and face another team on the up and up in Necaxa.
The first half started with the return of Alexis Vega to the starting lineup for Chivas. On the other hand, Diogo de Oliveira and Jose Rogerio took the start taking the place of the injured Dinenno. After a great run from Alexis Vega, he got past two defenders and got off a great right footed shot past goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera for the 1-0 lead. Chivas had started the better side and got a just result. A cross into the area was volleyed by Arturo Ortiz but it went wide in Pumas’ first opportunity of the game. Vega then made another great play and got off a shot that was saved by Talavera. After winning the ball in the area, Hiram Mier got a great cross but Roberto Alvarado got the ball and cleared off his feet, saving what would have been a tap in goal. Later Alvarado got into the area, but his shot was easily saved by Talavera. Chivas had a great chance when Vega got past his defender and almost got into the area, but he lost the ball as he tried to make a move when a defender finally reached him. Sebastian Saucedo then got off a great shot from outside the area that forced Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez got make a great save. Then on the ensuing corner kick, Vega once again made a great run past his defender and then by Alan Mozo to then get close to the area and make a great pass that found Roberto Alvarado, who easily connected with his left foot to score the ball past Talavera for the 2-0. Mozo once again failed miserably to get the ball on a slide tackle and allowed all the time and space to Vega because of it on the goal. The halftime whistle blew and behind a great first half from Alexis Vega, Chivas took a solid lead to the break.
The second half started with Pumas subbing out Diogo de Oliveira, Marco Garcia, and Omar Islas for Washington Corozo, Santiago Trigos, and Favio Alvarez. Saucedo got off a good left footed shot that forced a save from Jimenez. Talavera then got to the ball before Carlos Cisneros in what would have been a great opportunity if he reached the ball. Mozo got off a shot that forced Jimenez to make a save. Fernando Beltran, who got called up to the Mexican National Team for the Guatemala friendly, got injured and had to be subbed out for Angel Zaldivar. Then after that a good combination play between Corozo, Alvarez, and Jose Rogerio was finished with a great shot by Rogerio that went past Jimenez for the 2-1. Almost immediately Pumas made a terrible defensive mistake however when Sebastian Saucedo lost the ball against Jesus Ricardo Angulo, who got off a left footed shot past Talavera for the 3-1 lead for Chivas. It was an immediate momentum change on a play of great stupidity. Almost immediately Saucedo was subbed out for Jorge Ruvalcaba. Pumas tried to get another goal, but were looking deflated after that last goal. Pumas subbed out Higor Meritao for Jose Galindo. A cross by Corozo could have turned to a great chance, but Jimenez did a good job in clearing it with a save with his left foot. Pumas looked to have ran out of fuel and with the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final being on Wednesday, it looked like the result was set. Vega got off a great shot that would just go inches wide. After a harsh foul on Alvarado, Nicolas Freire got a yellow card anf although the referee went to VAR, he decided to just give the yellow card although a red wouldn’t have been out of the question. Chivas then subbed out Alexis Vega and Jesus Ricardo Angulo for Paolo Yrizar and Pavel Perez. Chivas held on and got a deserved win.
Chivas continued their winning streak with a solid victory over a Pumas side that was overwhelmed at times and who look to be in real trouble. Alexis Vega gave one of the best performances of the season by scoring a goal and creating the second one. Chivas has won all three matches since Cadena arrived, and are clicking at the right time as they go to the Liguilla. They do however have an important match against Necaxa on Friday, as their position and who they play will be affected by that result. Meanwhile Pumas is now in big trouble as the consecutive losses against San Luis and Chivas now have them possibly out of the Repechaje zone in Liga MX, and the team severely emotionally hurt for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final, especially with top scorer Dinenno hurt. They will need to bounce back quickly for that match at home against Seattle before closing out the season also at home against Pachuca, who earlier today had just clinched first place in Liga MX.