Guadalajara showed signs of improvement after a winter of spending, putting forth a strong performance against Tijuana.
Alan Pulido scored his first goal of the Clausura 2019, netting in the 54th minute to give the Chivas the lead after a tense, hard fought first half. Guadalajara opened the new Liga MX season with one of its best games in months, claiming all 3 points at home against the Xolos.
Pulido was the beneficiary of a brilliant team goal initiated by new signing Alexis Vega, who cutely passed to winger Isaac “Conejo” Brizuela who crossed to Pulido to latch onto the ball with a deft header.
The Chivas clearly found things much more difficult in the first half as Xolos played a good, high-pressing game forcing Chivas defenders to pass the ball around in their own half for large portions of the opening 45 minutes.
With the game scoreless at half time, it was clear that Chivas DT Jose Cardozo needed to change things up a bit and his talk must have helped because the Chivas came out much stronger.
After Pulido’s opening goal, things came alive for Guadalajara as they began attacking the Xolos area with much more fluidity and faster tempo. However Cardozo’s substitutions showed he clearly wanted to shore up his defense and hold on to the lead which seemed to anger some Chivas fans who were enjoying the attacking style of play.
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Bringing defender Hedgardo Marin on seemed to help a Chivas defense that, admittedly, seemed very confident all game as goalkeeper Raul Gudiño made several impressive saves to ensure he got the clean sheet.
An interesting episode occurred when Cardozo took off second-half sub “Chofis” Lopez in the 81st minute (for Marin). It looked like Chofis was suffering from fatigue or perhaps a slight knock so perhaps there was a reason for his removal.
The game was over for Xolos in injury time when Isaac Brizuela cut in onto his right foot to put the ball into the back of the net with skill.
With the game ending 2-0 to Chivas, their fans can be pleased overall with the much needed morale-boosting result. Perhaps this is a sign the Chivas have genuinely improved and can rejoin the fight for Liguilla spots. Admittedly the Xolos, with all due respect, were not at their best tonight and Guadalajara will face tougher opponents in the coming weeks, But for now, Chivas nation can enjoy the win and hope for a more successful season.