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Chivas defeats Atlas to set up a Superclasico semifinal clash

Chivas battled to a 1-0 win over Atlas in a Clasico Tapatio quarterfinal to book their ticket to the semifinal.

Chivas v Atlas - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Carlos Zepeda/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas fought back to get a 1-0 victory over Atlas in the second leg of the Liguilla quarterfinal matchup to set up what should be a great series between two hated rivals. The victory means that Chivas will face their biggest rivals Club America in a new edition of the Superclasico, the biggest match in Mexican football. The win also sets up another great clasico clash in semifinals as Monterrey and Tigres will face each other in the other leg, which means that the higher ups in Liga MX must be really happy with Chivas getting the win.

Because of an injury just six minutes into the match, Jeremy Marquez had to leave the game. Edgar Zaldivar was subbed in for him. After a great run, Isaac Brizuela made a pass to Alexis Vega, who had an empty net but he failed to connect with solidly and it went wide, missing an incredible chance. Chivas dominated the early minutes, as they needed a goal and took advantage of an Atlas team that was reeling from the injury to Marquez. A cross into the area was headed by Victor Guzman, but it went well wide. Atlas looked dangerous on a counter, but a bad pass in the end was out of Julio Furch’s reach. Thirty minutes into the match, it started to rain heavily. A great pass found Furch in the area and he got past Chivas’ goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez, but his left footed shot into the almost empty net was brilliantly saved by a diving Jesus Orozco, who cleared the ball off of the line. While Chivas had most of the possession, it was Atlas who had come the closest to scoring. A ball was cleared straight to Brian Lozano, but his shot went wide in another good chance wasted. Although Chivas started well, Atlas had finished better as the game remained scoreless at halftime.

The second half started with Chivas subbing out Ruben Gonzalez for Eduardo Torres. After getting the ball in the area, Vega got a shot that went right to Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. Then off of a corner kick, Vega’s cross found a wide open Gilberto Sepulveda, who Atlas’ had completely left alone and he got off a header past Vargas for the goal that gave Chivas the 1-0 lead. It was a complete mistake from Atlas’ defenders, who failed to notice the Sepulveda free in the area. A longball into the area for Roberto Alvarado looked to have been handled by Zaldivar in replays, but nothing was given. After stealing a ball, Alan Mozo got into the area but his right footed shot went wide. In the 76th minute, Chivas subbed out Isaac Brizuela and Fernando Beltran for Pavel Perez and Ronaldo Cisneros. Three minutes later Atlas subbed out Brian Lozano for Mauro Manotas. A cross by Perez came close to going in but went wide. Then a pass into the area almost found Julian Quiñones, but Jimenez was able to reach if before him. Chivas subbed out Roberto Alvarado and Victor Guzman for Alejandro Mayorga and Sergio Flores in the 84th minute. A incredible play had Ozziel Herrera pass the ball to Quiñones, who returned it to Herrera, but his shot was saved by Jimenez in a miraculous save. Later a cross into the area was volleyed by Furch from close range, but Jimenez came up big again by blocking it. Another cross into the area found Furch, whose header hit the post. Atlas was coming in strong in the end as Chivas held on for dear life. In stoppage, Atlas subbed out Gaddi Aguirre for Christopher Trejo. A cross into the area almost found Quiñones but Jimenez got to clear the ball just inches away from his head. Then off of a counter, Vega found Cisneros in the area but he tried to get past Vargas and he cleared the ball off him. It would be the last dangerous chance as Chivas held on for a victory that got the team to the Semifinals.

Chivas had a very tough battle, but were able to get the victory they needed to get through. Although Chivas dominated the possession, they created very few chances and Atlas had the more dangerous opportunities before Chivas’ goal. Atlas could have gotten the tie and were unlucky not to do so. Still Chivas got the victory, and will now face America. Although America struggled a lot in the loss on Saturday against Atletico San Luis, they should be slightly favored for the series although they would have been clear favorites with a better display on Saturday. Chivas will need to improve a lot, especially on offense and especially now that America holds the advantage that an aggregate tie would give the ticket to the final to Club America. Yet if Chivas improves, they might make the series interesting. But for now Chivas and their fans should be happy with the display and the results that have given Chivas the victory over their city rival Club Atlas as they hope to get another Liga MX title.