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Clásico Nacional: Chivas was no match for an América team that is finally taking flight

Chivas had no answer as they faced the Aguilas, who showed no mercy as they downed them 4-0.

MLS: Leagues Cup-Club America at Nashville SC Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Club América put on a show for their fans in the Clásico Naciónal, as they they handed archrivals Chivas a commanding 4-0 defeat. While Chivas started off strong this season, they have seen a decline in their performance since their participation in the Leagues Cup. On the other side, it looks like América have found their stride after a rough start that had many fans demanding the removal of head coach André Jardine.

As always the week leading up to the game were intense, especially since both the men’s and women’s Clásicos were scheduled for this past weekend. For América, there was some mixed news that came out this past week. First, it was revealed that head coach André Jardine had a successful surgery for appendicitis, but it was not known if he would be on the sideline for the team. However some good news came out when it was announced that Henry Martin was going to be available to play after being sidelined with an injury for some time. Then right before the game, Sebastian Cáceres was ruled out due to injury and Igor Lichnovsky, who signed a few days ago, took his place on the backline. This wasn’t what América wanted, but it was what Chivas wanted and they had to take advantage of it. Spoiler alert, they didn’t take advantage of it as it only took 22 minutes for América to open the scoring.

Brian Rodriguez opened the scoring at the Azteca as he received a pass right outside the box and was able to beat Jesus ‘Chapito’ Sanchez and got the ball into the back of the net. Since his arrival last year, Rodriguez hasn’t had a lot of success with the team but this season he’s had more minutes and with this goal he now has four. Chivas attempted to equalize and they fought hard, but Alexis Vega could not get hit shots in the back of the net which left many fans upset considering he hasn’t been playing up to his potential in a while. Those missed chances came back to haunt Chivas as the Aguilas extended their lead in the 37th minute.

Diego Valdés received a pass in the midfield, and he took the ball up the field as no Chivas player went up to him at all. This allowed him to take a shot right outside the box that ended in the back of the net, extending the lead. This was not the way Chivas wanted the half to go, and they really needed the break to collect themselves. While being down two goals is not ideal, it’s also a dangerous score line and Chivas needed to take advantage of that.

It looked as if Chivas was going to make a comeback when in the first two minutes of the second half Ricardo Marin scored. Unfortunately, the goal was deemed offside and this decision was most likely what set back the Chivas as they would be unable to come back. They had a promising attack a few minutes later but Alvaro Fidalgo was able to step in the way and put a stop to it. The next 10 minutes saw Chivas improving and looking for a goal, as America dropped their intensity they had in the first half. Even with the way Chivas was improving, it was not enough to stop the Aguilas as they added another goal to their count.

Valdés did not need a lot of space and time to get another goal. As the ball went to his feet he took a quick half second to better position himself before getting the shot off. There was nothing Miguel ‘Wacho’ Jimenez could do to stop it, as Valdés scored his brace and América went up 3-0 in the 65th minute. Five minutes later Roberto Alvarado attempted his own shot that went straight to the hands of Luis Angel Malagon. It was obvious Chivas was frustrated and they weren’t thinking before they shot. By the time the third goal went in they weren’t there mentally any more. Things got even worse for the visitors after Alejandro Zendejas subbed into the game in the 75th minute, and five minutes later made a big impact.

Salvador Reyes sent the ball off to Zendejas, who was able to get on the end of it and send it to the back of the net for the fourth and final goal of the night. Chivas did not show up tonight and once again fell apart against the Aguilas. It was a far cry from the game they had in the semi finals where they beat América for a spot in the final of the Clausura 2023. That team and the team from Saturday night were two different teams. Now Chivas needs to regroup and get ready to host Pachuca while América will have a short rest as they face Queretaro on Wednesday for a Jornada 2 rescheduled match.