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Atlas cruise and dominate Chivas and book ticket to Semifinals

Chivas got a late goal, but the 1-1 tie gives Atlas the series and the berth in the Semifinals>

Atlas v Chivas - Playoffs Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Atlas completely dominated Chivas over 180 minutes and closed out the second leg with a 1-1 to complete a 3-2 aggregate victory in the Liguilla quarterfinals. Atlas was the better and more prepared team, especially on Sunday, and were just winners. Chivas had raised a lot of expectations of their fans especially after eliminating Pumas in the repechaje, but it was a huge hit to not only be eliminated but by their city rivals, the current champions, and unquestionably now team of the city. Atlas will have to wait to see if they face America or Tigres in the semifinal and the road to another title.

The first half started with Chivas having the good news that injured Alexis Vegas was able to make it to the match and the starting eleven. The main change was Jose Juan Macias getting the start as Chivas needed the two goal cushion to make it through. Atlas had the same lineup as the one in their first leg win. After a good move in the area, Julio Furch was able to get a right footed shot that was saved by Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez. Off of a free kick, a great left footed shot from Roberto Alvarado hit the post in the best chance so far in the match. Atlas was controlling possession as Chivas, who needed to get the goals, was having a tough time in getting the ball. It looked like Atlas had a good chance when Julian Quiñones got the ball in the area, but his left footed shot went just wide however the play was ruled to be a foul. It looked like Miguel Jimenez was injured and needed medical attention. The goalkeeper had to be subbed out because of his injury, and Raul Gudiño was subbed in. Atlas kept playing keep away from Chivas, and the strategy was working incredibly well for them. Chivas had a great chance when a shot from outside the area from Macias hit the post, but after Alvarado tried to lower the ball from the rebound of the post instead of one time heading it, Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas was able to get the ball. Aldo Rocha then got a shot from outside the area that forced Gudiño to make a save. In the next play, Anibal Chala got into the area and hit a left footed shot that went past Gudiño for the 1-0 lead ,making it 2-0 on aggregate. Atlas took the lead to halftime as they looked to be cruising to the semifinals.

The second half came with Chivas surprisingly not making a substitution. Chivas came close with a shot from outside the area but it went wide. Later Fernando Beltran got off a shot from outside the area that also went wide. A free kick from Beltran forced Vargas to make another save. Then from outside the area, Quiñones got off a great shot that forced Gudiño to make a great save. A great cross into the area from Atlas was just missed by Furch. Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez and Alexis Vega for Isaac Brizuela and Pavel Perez. Chivas continued to try to grab a goal, but Atlas was defending very well and looked like they have studied Chivas completely. A cross into the area was headed by Cristian Calderon, but it was easily saved by Vargas. Then after a long ball, Jeremy Marquez looked to have elbowed Sergio Flores in the face and got a yellow card. The referee then went to VAR and gave a red card to the star of the first leg. Beltran then had a chance when he tried to lob the goalkeeper but it went wide. Atlas subbed out Julio Furch for Edyairth Ortega. Chivas now had most of the possession with the advantage but Atlas just stepped defensively and didn’t look at all in danger. Chivas subbed out Gilberto Sepulveda for Angel Zaldivar, way too late to realize they needed to get a defender out after having a player advantage. Atlas then subbed out the injured Anibal Chala for Anderson Santamaria. Beltran got the ball in the area but his shot went wide. Atlas then subbed out Julian Quiñones and Edgar Zaldivar for Jonathan Herrera and Diego Barbosa. A cross into the area was lowered by Zaldivar and fell to Jose Juan Macias, who made a good turn around and got off a left footed shot past Vargas for the 1-1 equalizer and bringing Chivas within one on aggregate. Chivas looked to have run out of time but tried in injury time, and Beltran got off a shot that was saved by Vargas. In the end Atlas held on and gave Chivas one of their most painful eliminations in recent history.

Defending champions Atlas have made the biggest boost to their credibility. To defeat their big rival Chivas so clearly and prove that right now they are the main force of the city is a huge boost to their fans, who now got a revenge from a lot of criticism from Chivas’ fans about how their title was won under “suspicious” circumstances. Atlas fans will now have the final say over them for a while. Chivas fan came into the Liguilla thinking about a title and with interim coach Ricardo Cadena winning all the games, but like with Pumas the ending ended up totally overshadowing the path. Now Chivas ends in a worse situation that when it started, with the added problem that their rival just dominated and eliminated them. Atlas will now wait to see who they face in the semifinals but meanwhile they are on cloud nine as they get a semifinal and a solid elimination of Chivas to add to their recent achievements.