Chivas struggled last night, but ultimately held on for a 2-1 victory against FC Juarez. Chivas were the slightly better team in the first half and reflected it on the scoreboard by grabbing a 2-0 lead, but it was all FC Juarez in the second 45 as Chivas were lucky to not see the game tied up.
It was a cold night in Ciudad Juarez. The home side had the possession initially, but weren’t creating much danger. After a good move from Alan Medina, his cross went right to Gabriel Fernandez but his volley was deficient and went right into the hands of Chivas’ keeper Miguel Jimenez. A minute later, a cross from Roberto Alvarado looked to have been handled in the area by Maximiliano Olivera, but nothing was called. The ref would use VAR and correct himself, giving Chivas the PK. Victor Guzman stepped up and place it past Juarez’s keeper Alfredo Talavera for the 1-0.
Juarez missed a great chance when a free kick was headed just wide by Carlos Salcedo. After a Jesus Orozco mishap, who left the ball to Fernandez for a 1 vs 1 in the area, the FC Juarez striker’s shot was deflected by Jimenez. It would be the same but a different result in the other end. A bad mistake from the Juarez defense left the ball in the area for Fernando Beltran who’s shot hit the post. The ball then bounced right into the path of a wide open Carlos Cisneros, who got a tap in goal into the empty net for the 2-0. The halftime whistle blew and although it was an even game in terms of possession and play, Chivas had a taken a significant lead.
The second half started with Juarez subbing out Jaime Gomez for Tomas Molina. A cross into the area could have been a good chance for Fernandez, but he failed to control the ball in the area. A free kick from Juarez came close but Jimenez was able to punch the ball wide. In the ensuing corner kick, Alejandro Arribas got a wide open header but it went wide. Then off another corner kick, Fernandez headed the ball into the path of Tomas Molina, who then got his right foot onto the ball to get it past Jimenez for the goal and the 2-1. Juarez continued to dominate possession and push for the tying goal. Arribas got the ball in the area and his left footed shot went well wide. Luis Rodriguez would also get a shot from outside the area that was saved by Jimenez. A header by Salcedo was also deflected for a corner by Jimenez. In the corner, it was Molina who headed the ball, forcing Jimenez to an even better save. That proved to be Juarez’s last chance, allowing Chivas to hold on for the win.
It was far from pretty, but Chivas got a key win away against FC Juarez. Fans will be worried as Chivas continue to disappoint in the second halves as their constant issue of closing out games continues to linger. FC Juarez dominated the second half and were unlucky in not getting that goal to tie the match. Cristante’s squad will need to improve quickly as they face an away match against a Mazatlan FC club hungry to bounce back from an embarrassing loss against America. Meanwhile, Chivas will hope to get their first win at home as they face what most people regard as the weakest team in Mexico in Queretaro.