Chivas soured Miguel Herrera’s return as head coach of Xolos by getting a 2-1 victory in Guadalajara. This was Chivas’ first victory at home in the Clausura 2023, and it shows that although it wasn’t the greatest performance, the team is improving under Coach Veljko Paunovic. Chivas will have a tough visit to struggling Pumas on Saturday, while Herrera will return to Mexico City to face his old team Club America.
The first half started with both teams coming out with their better lineups. Early on there looked to be a bad clash of heads off a corner kick between Lisandro Lopez and Alejandro Mayorga. There then looked to be a injury to Joaquin Montecinos, who needed medical attention. Off of a free kick, the ball bounced around in the area and Daniel Rios tried to clear it but instead gave a pass to Xolos’ Federico Lertora, who got off a low right footed shot right through the arms of Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez for the 1-0 lead. The injured Montecinos had to be subbed out for Carlos Valenzuela. Chivas tried to come back and as they tried to do, Lopez cleared a ball and then brought down Ronaldo Cisneros and the ref gave a penalty kick to Chivas. Victor Guzman stepped up to take the attempt, and his strong right footed shot went past Xolos’ goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez for the goal and the 1-1 tie. Chivas then started to gain control of possession with the boost of momentum of getting the equalizer. It still wasn’t enough however to change things, and at halftime the match remained tied.
The second half started with Chivas subbing out Alejandro Mayorga for Cristian Calderon. Minutes into the half an incredibly hard tackle by Valenzuela against Jesus Sanchez earned the Xolos player a red card. Incredibly the ref went to VAR and changed it to a yellow card in a terrible decision. Lucas Rodriguez got a shot that went just wide. Xolos then subbed out Silvio Martinez and Eduardo Armenta for Leonel Lopez and Lucas Cavallini. Valenzuela got a great long ranged shot that went just over the post. Chivas subbed out Jesus Sanchez, Daniel Rios, and Roberto Alvarado for Alan Mozo, Carlos Cisneros, and Alan Torres. Carlos Cisneros immediately made an impact with a long range shot that hit the post. After a great play by Mozo, he made a pass to Torres, who got off a low shot that came close to going in. Off of a free kick cross, Gilberto Sepulveda got off a header that went just inches from going in. Chivas then subbed out Jose Gonzalez for Pavel Perez. A great pass into the area was just missed by Cavallini. Xolos subbed out Lucas Rodriguez for Jose Juan Vazquez. After getting a wide open opportunity, Carlos Cisneros made a terrible miss by shooting the ball wide. Then after a play in the area, it looked like a Xolos defender handled the ball after Perez tried dribbling but no foul was given. The ref went to VAR and corrected his decision, giving the penalty. It looked like Ronaldo Cisneros was going to take it, but Victor Guzman took it (probably after a coaching decision). Guzman got a strong right footed shot past Rodriguez (who got a hand on it) to score the 2-1. Xolos answered with a great right footed shot from Lopez that hit the post. Xolos came close, but it was not enough and Chivas got their first home victory of the season.
Chivas had their first victory at home and is improving results wise, although the win was a little circumstantial and was helped a lot by two terrible defensive mistakes that gave Chivas two penalties. Chivas is still not creating many opportunities, and up top their forwards haven’t been able to score so far. Chivas is also making mistakes on defense like what led to the goal. Still they are getting results and seem to be gaining the knowledge with regards to what Paunovic wants from his club. They will have a good chance to add points as they travel to face struggling Pumas. Tijuana looked to be improving as “Piojo” Herrera re-takes the helm of the club. They almost got a point out of Chivas, but will have a tougher task on Sunday when they face Club America.