Chivas got their best result of the season as they clobbered their crosstown rivals Atlas in the Clasico Tapatio by a 4-1 score. Chivas surprised everybody after a week of pure turmoil, where they announced that Alexis Vega, Raul Martinez and Cristian Calderon would be suspended and there were rumors that Coach Veljko Paunovic was going to leave the club to go coach Almeria in Spain. Chivas ended up giving a great performance, and although they are far from ending their momentary crisis, they gave a big boost to their fans. Chivas will face Club America on Sunday as they play an exhibition match during the FIFA break, and then will travel to Puebla when Liga MX returns while Atlas will host Mazatlan.
The first half started with Chivas trying to place all of the drama out of their minds, and also without the suspended players. Juan Zapata got off a shot from outside the area that went just wide. From outside the area, Fernando Beltran got off a bomb of a right footed shot that went past Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas and into the net to give Chivas the surprising 1-0 lead. It was Chivas’ first attack with Beltran getting off a wonderful shot. A cross into the area was headed just wide by Jordy Caicedo. On the play, Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Rangel was pummeled by defender Antonio Briseño and looked to be badly hurt. He needed medical attention, and had to be carted out with a possible concussion as goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez came in for him. After another clumsy tackle from Briseño, he fell on Caicedo, who looked injured but remained in the match. An incredible rainstorm started to fall, and the field started to suffer. As they looked for the tying goal, Atlas started to gain more possession and push Chivas back. A harsh tackle from Anderson Santamaria on Roberto Alvarado looked like it could have been a red card, but the referee and VAR left it just as a yellow card. Isaac Brizuela then got off a right footed shot that Vargas saved. Caicedo later made a long run and then got a pass that Ruben Gonzalez deflected right into the path of Aldo Rocha. Rocha hit a monster bomb of a shot that went past Jimenez and into the net to score a marvelous goal that gave Atlas the 1-1 tie. It was an even better goal than the one Beltran scored, and Atlas got the deserved tie. The last minutes of the half played out, and the match remained tied as the halftime whistle blew.
The second half started with neither team making a change at halftime. After making a good move, Alvarado got off a left footed shot that Vargas dropped. Chivas came out as the better team in the second half, and started dominating possession. A great cross by Victor Guzman found a wide open Brizuela, but he sent his volley wide, missing a great chance. Atlas then subbed out Augusto Solari and Eduardo Aguirre for Brian Lozano and Jaziel Martinez. Later, a cross into the area was headed wide by Briseño. Then a great cross from Guzman into the area found a wide open Ricardo Marin, who got a great header past Vargas to score and give Chivas the 2-1 lead. While Atlas had finished well the first half and deserved the tie, it had been all Chivas in the second half and the home side’s lead was deserved. Atlas tried to answer with a longball that Jimenez took off the feet of Caicedo. A tragedy then happened on the field when after sliding on the field, Brian Lozano looked to be injured. Not only was Lozano coming into the match from an injury but he has a history of some bad injuries in his past, and the replays showed that the injury to the knee looked horrific. Lozano was subbed out and taken to a hospital, with Cristopher Trejo coming in for him. After scramble in the area, the ball fell to Luis Reyes but his shot was blocked by a sliding Gilberto Sepulveda. Off of a corner kick, Rocha got a wide open header but it went wide. A shot by Reyes almost got deflected into the net. Chivas subbed out Isaac Brizuela for Yael Padilla. Alvarado then got off an incredible long ball that had Ricardo Marin go on a one-on-one from the halfway line. Marin hit a left footed shot past Vargas to score the goal that gave Chivas the 3-1 lead and seemed to kill the match. It was a great counter that showed that Alvarado was clearly the best Chivas player, and also that Marin might be coming into his own. Atlas subbed out Luis Reyes and Jorge Guzman for Rivaldo Lozano and Mateo Garcia. Guzman got off a left footed shot that went just wide. A header by Marin then found Alvarado, who went on a one-on-one into the area before being brought down by Vargas. Referee Adonai Escobedo had no choice but to give a penalty kick to Chivas. Roberto Alvarado stepped up to take the penalty, and with a strong left footed shot knocked it past Vargas to give Chivas the 4-1 lead. It was the final goal and Chivas held on for the victory.
Chivas had a terrible week in their journey to the Clasico Tapatio. After their away tie against Toluca, Chivas announced they were suspending Alexis Vega, Cristian Calderon, and Raul Martinez. Apparently they had been partying with women during the team’s camp for the match in Toluca and had violated the rules. Rumors are strong and it all leads to believe that Vega and Calderon have played their last match with Chivas. Rumors were also strong that Coach Paunovic was going to leave Chivas and go coach La Liga side Almerica, but earlier on Saturday he made a tweet that looks like things have settled and he will remain in Guadalajara. The team repaid his faith in them nicely by having a great performance and getting by far their best result of the season. After losing the Superclasico by a 4-0 score, Chivas went into crisis mode and although it still hasn’t ended, the win against Atlas will help the team get over it. Chivas still has a lot of tough matches to play, and they will start with an exhibition match against America. Although it’s a friendly, the Superclasico loss might make it more important. On the other hand, Atlas took a big hit to their momentum, and will need to bounce back when they return to action against Mazatlan while Chivas will play against Puebla.