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Chivas remain in first place after defeating Tijuana

El Rebaño had some trouble against 10-men Xolos, but were able to get a 1-0 win.

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

Chivas kept their place on top of Liga MX after defeating Tijuana by a 1-0 score this past Tuesday. Chivas dominated play and missed numerous chances, but came out with a win over a Xolos team that played half the match with 10 players after a controversial red card. Chivas will have a tough task to continue their undefeated path as they travel to Torreón to face Santos today.

The match started with the return of Alan Mozo to the starting 11 as well as Victor Guzman and Ricardo Marin. After getting a great pass, Roberto Alvarado would get to the area and get off a left-footed shot that forced Tijuana’s goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez to make a great save. They missed another great chance when Orozco got a header from close range, but it went wide in a bad miss. Mozo would make a good play in the area and get off a left-footed shot that would hit the post. After Marin lifted the ball in the area, a Tijuana defender looked to possibly have handled the ball. The ref would later go to VAR and decide to give Chivas a PK. Victor Guzman stepped up to take it and his right-footed shot was strong, but Rodriguez made a great stop with his left foot to block the shot and save Tijuana. In the last play of the half, Lucas Cavallini committed a foul and got red carded. Replays showed that Cavallini didn’t really elbow Briseño as he was judge, but referee Adonai Escobedo maintained the decision. The halftime whistle blew after the controversial play and Xolos felt cheated with good reason.

The second half started with Tijuana subbing Kevin Castañeda and Ivan Tona for Alejandro Martinez and Fernando Madrigal, as they hoped to counter having one less player. Chivas continued to push for the goal as they monopolized possession. A cross into the area found Roberto Alvarado, who got a low right-footed shot past Rodriguez and into the net even as Nico Diaz tried to clear the ball, but only pushed it further into the net. Chivas had the deserved 1-0 lead and kept looking for more goals. Off a corner kick, Antonio Briseño rose to head the ball past Rodriguez, but the ref called it off for a possible foul. Replays showed that it was a dubious call, but the ref didn’t change it. Off another corner kick, Briseño got a wide open header, but this time it went straight to Rodriguez.

Tijuana tried to bounce back, but being a man down was a tough task. After getting the ball lowered in the area, Padilla got off a great left-footed shot that Rodriguez brilliantly saved. A cross into the area should have been a goal, but Gutierrez headed it wide from close range. Perez would get the ball in the area, but his shot was saved by Rodriguez and Gutierrez couldn’t handle the rebound. A 2 vs 2 attack by Chivas ended with Rios getting a right-footed shot deflected into the hands of Rodriguez. That would end up being the last chance, and although Chivas should have done better scoring-wise, they got the three points.

It wasn’t the greatest performance for Chivas, who missed numerous chances including a PK. To make matters worse for them, they even got a benefit from a dubious call in Cavallini’s red card and still could only score once at home. Still, Chivas were able to get the three points and with it, remain in first place. They need to improve on offense as they can’t go up and give this type of performances and expect to get the result consistently. On the other hand, Xolos continue the disappointing trend of results with last night’s draw at home against Mazatlán, although they can at least claim that the referee harmed the team with that dubious red card on Tuesday.