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Buzzer beater gives Chivas late win over Cruz Azul

Chivas left it for very late, but were able to get the 1-0 victory at home against Cruz Azul.

Chivas v Cruz Azul - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Simon Barber/Getty Images

Chivas left it for the last play of the game to grab a 1-0 victory over Cruz Azul. In a very even match that had very few scoring moments, Chivas were able to grab the late winner that guarantees them a place in the liguilla. Meanwhile, Cruz Azul are all but eliminated after failing to get a point. Chivas will travel to Mexico City to close out the regular season against Pumas while Cruz Azul close out against Puebla at home.

The game started with the surprise that Raul Martinez kept his place in the starting 11 even with the return of Antonio Briseño and the fact he made a foul that allowed Querétaro to get a PK and score their only goal in Chivas’ 2-1 victory over them on Tuesday. Ronaldo Cisneros took the place of the suspended Ricardo Marin up front. After a cross into the area was headed by Roberto Alvarado towards Cisneros, he would send a close range header wide in a bad miss. A cross into the area was headed by Angel Sepulveda right to Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez. Jose Rivero got off a shot that was easily saved by Jimenez. While Chivas had started as the better team, Cruz Azul slowly gained more possession and became the better team. A great left-footed shot from Erick Gutierrez almost got deflected past Cruz Azul’s goalkeeper, Andres Gudiño, but he made a great play to stop the ball from going past him. It was a very even match for both teams as the halftime whistle blew and the score remained 0-0.

The second half started with neither team making changes. Off a corner, Uriel Antuna would rise and get a free header, but it would go just wide. Off a free kick, a cross turned into a shot that would force Jimenez to make a big save. A great run by Isaac Brizuela ended with a pass in the area to a wide open Fernando Beltran, but his right-footed shot would hit the post. A cross into the area found Sepulveda, who got off a shot that was blocked by Jimenez. The ball was left there for Sepulveda, who got off a second shot, but it was brilliantly saved off the line by Gilberto Sepulveda before Jimenez could get to it. Torres would get off a shot from outside the area, but Gudiño would easily save it. A cross into the area was punched out by Gudiño but right to Padilla, who tried to lob it into the empty net, but sent it wide, missing the best chance for Chivas.

After a very harsh tackle on Alvarado, Walter Ditta was given a straight red card. After going to VAR, the ref would change it to a yellow. In the last minute of the match, the ball would get to Yael Padilla, who made a great move in the area and then got off a right-footed shot that was deflected by Ditta past Gudiño to go into the net and put Chivas ahead 1-0. Padilla had played great and now gave Chivas a key three points with the incredible last-minute winner.

Chivas has had a roller coaster season and although they had improved somewhat, the results weren’t the best before getting clobbered by Tigres 4-0. Chivas have since stepped up and now have gotten 6 key points by defeating Queretaro and Cruz Azul to book their place in the Liguilla. Chivas will still hope to try to get a top 4 finish against Pumas. Meanwhile, Cruz Azul are all but out of the liguilla after failing to get a win. Although they might try to fight for the final spot in the play in, they would need a victory against Puebla and a combination of results which make it stranger that they didn’t go all out for the victory on Saturday.