Chivas continue to improve with a commanding victory over Pumas by a 3-1 score. Chivas bounced back from going down a goal and took advantage of a Pumas filled with injuries and with a defense that has been struggling mightily. Chivas gets their third straight victory, and like their rival America, is one of the most improved team so far in Mexico.
The first half started with Jose Caicedo staying in the starting eleven and taking the place of the injured Ricardo Galindo. Early in the match, Juan Ignacio Dinenno made a great pass into the path of Diogo de Olivera, who got past his defender and got off a right footed shot past Miguel Jimenez to take the 1-0 lead. A good counter by Pumas was wasted by Gustavo Del Prete, taking too long for a counter and wasting it with a pass to Chivas. Almost immediately after that Chivas had a free kick, and a great cross by Alexis Vega was headed by Jesus Orozco past Pumas’ goalkeeper Gil Alcala for the 1-1 equalizer. After a great combination play, Vega got the ball in the area and got a shot past Alcala, but Nicolas Freire cleared the ball before it went into the empty net. After a great run, Orozco got into the area and got off a left footed shot that was brilliantly saved by Alcala. Then off a free kick, Alexis Vega got a great shot that passed through the wall after it deflected off Caicedo, going past Alacala for the 2-1 lead. Minutes later, Chivas got into the area Fernando Beltran went into past and lobbed the ball over Alcala, who tipped the ball right to the area before Angel Zaldivar headed the ball on the line for the 3-1 lead. Chivas kept the ball and the halftime whistle blew with Chivas improving while Pumas were disastrous once again.
The second half started with Pumas subbing out Jeronimo Rodriguez and Leonel Lopez for Cesar Huerta and Higor Meritao. A cross into the area from a free kick went just wide after Diogo headed it. Chivas then subbed out Jesus Sanchez for Carlos Cisneros. A ball was deflected right to Dinenno, but his right footed shot went wide. After a good run by Chivas, the ball fell to Zaldivar, who got a left footed shot that forced Alcala to make a great save. Chivas subbed out Issac Brizuela and Angel Zaldivar for Pavel Perez and Santiago Ormeño. After a ball was sent to the area, Dinenno got off a bicycle kick that went wide. Pumas then subbed out Pablo Bennevendo for Marco Garcia. A combination play ended with Huerta getting off a left footed shot that went just wide. Later Chivas subbed out Fernando Beltran and Sergio Flores for Eduardo Torres and Fernando Gonzalez, while Pumas subbed out Gustavo Del Prete for Jorge Ruvalcaba. Off of a free kick, Adrian Aldrete got off a great shot that hit the post. A minute later Dani Alves got a red card for a foul that didn’t look like one. After going to VAR, it was called back and only a yellow card was given, although replays showed that it wasn’t even a foul. Vega then got a right footed shot that forced Alcala to make a save. A great pass by Diogo found Ruvalcaba, but his left footed shot went right to Jimenez. Vega made a great pass to Perez, whose low shot was saved by Alcala. A pass by Vega left Ormeño alone in the area but Alcala blocked his lobbed shot and it was also ruled offside.
Chivas are picking things up at the right time. Not only have they gotten three straight wins, but they have done so with a good level of play. On Saturday they were clearly the better team and dominated a Pumas side in game where a 3-1 score might have been short for what they showed in the field. Chivas will have a tough test as they travel to face Toluca, but right now they are one of the top teams in Mexico. For Pumas, the less said of them, the better. Once again they showed a terrible level of play and got lucky in not getting scored on even more. The defense, filled with injuries, has shown no improvement and that teams has been in full chaos since the embarrassment that was their loss against Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Cup. They will have to travel next week to Guadalajara and face defending champions Atlas, and it doesn’t look like things will change any time soon.