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Chivas start season with away win in León

El Rebaño opened their season the right away with a 2-1 victory.

Leon v Chivas - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas started their season the right way by getting a key away victory against León by a 2-1 score. They started their campaign, in which they hope to get back to the final, with a very important result as they went to Guanajuato and got a win against the current CONCACAF Champions League title holder.

The match began with the debut of new Chivas striker Ricardo Marin, who won the Liga de Expansión scoring title with Celaya. After a good heading pass from Victor Guzman, Pavel Perez got a wide open shot in the area, but his left-footed shot went well wide. A long ball into the area got to Isaac Brizuela, who volleyed the ball over Leon’s goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota, but the ball was cleared off the line by Stiven Bareiro. Both teams continue to trade attacks, nearly culminating in a Bareiro header off the post.

Until a cross into the area was lowered by Marin and into the path of Antonio Briseño, whose right-footed shot from close range got past Cota to score the goal that gave Chivas the 1-0 lead. Leon players protested that Marin had lowered the ball with his arm, but the goal stood. Minutes later, León would respond and a great cross from Hernandez found Alfonso Alvarado, who got off a close range header past Jimenez to score the 1-1 equalizer. Both teams kept switching possession and creating opportunities in what was a lively match, and that’s how the half ended.

Into the second half, a pass into the area almost turned to a great chance, but Alvarado couldn’t control the ball before Chivas defense cleared. Later, a pass into the area found Guzman, who got past Cota and ended up with a wide open attempt into the empty net, but incredibly hit the post. Although he had a tough angle, he still should’ve scored. Then, after León lost the ball and allowed a counter from Chivas, Guzman made a good pass into the area where Yael Padilla fired off a low and strong shot past Cota and into the net, giving Chivas the 2-1 lead. Padilla was making his first division debut and it was a quite memorable one.

León responded with a long-distance William Tesillo attempt that hit the post. Omar Fernandez, who had just come on, would get off a shot from way outside the area and force Jimenez to make a save. Later, Hernandez got off a right-footed shot that forced Jimenez to make another save, but left it for a close-range Barreiro attempt that was sent wide in a terrible miss. Barreiro was subbed off soon after. Although the home side kept trying, in the end Chivas held on to get a key victory to start their season.

After the disappointment of losing the 2023 Clausura final, Chivas opened the Apertura 2023 season with a great result. An away win against León is always tough and Chivas took advantage to get a win where they also had a number of debuts, the best of them being the winning goal scored by Yael Padilla, a player that will now always remember his first match in Liga MX. El Rebaño will now benefit from having back-to-back home games against Atlético San Luis and Necaxa, respectively, which are both must wins before going on to play the Leagues Cup. León will need to bounce back soon as they need to get a result at home when they face brother club Pachuca before travelling to Monterrey to face current Liga MX champion Tigres.