Following an impressive 2-0 win in their first game of the Clausura, Chivas will face tougher test against Cruz Azul.
Chivas showed a rare dominant performance against Tijuana in the first game of the season, and while this win gives Chivas fans hope that the new signings represent a positive change for the club, they will face a much stiffer challenge in Cruz Azul.
Cruz Azul posted the best record season, claiming the No. 1 seed for the playoffs, only to come up short in the Final against America. The loss in the Final somewhat disguises just how good the Cementeros are.
This game will be the first truly big test this season for Chivas and they will have to play at their very best to get points from this game. New signing Alexis Vega and his burgeoning relationship with Alan Pulido and Isaac Brizuela up front really impressed against Tijuana and Vega will be champing at the bit to impress his new fans.
Chivas 2, Xolos 0
Following on from a winter of massive transfer activity, Chivas debuted numerous players against Tijuana including Alexis Vega, Dieter Villalpando, Hiram Mier. And Carlos Cisneros marked his return to Guadalajara with an immediate start.
While Hiram Mier provided noticeable solidity to the defense, Vega was the standout performer having an influential part to play in both goals. Though he undoubtedly would have preferred getting a goal himself, I was impressed by his link-up play and his relationship with Pulido and Brizuela. Hopefully this will continue throughout the season.
While Tijuana suffer from a shortage of strikers and apart from a shot that cannoned off the post, never really troubled keeper Raul Gudiño or the Chivas defense, which then enabled Chivas to be calm and grow into the game.
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Alexis Vega is an extremely important player for Chivas at this moment as he offers a direct style of attacking play the club has lacked the last 2 seasons. Also his ability to score goals in big games … but against Tijuana he showed a different level to his game, linking-up effectively with Pulido and playing a part in both goals.
Mier, for me, offers a level of calmness and defensive solidity which allows Gudiño to be calm and gather up the few shots that got past the defense. Chivas showed real defensive stability which allowed the attacking players to concentrate on attacking rather than tracking back.
This will be a hugely different game for Chivas than the one against Tijuana. Cruz Azul is by far much powerful than Xolos are and will provide a much sterner test for Chivas’ new players. If Chivas defenders keep their shape and confidence, and fight for the ball, then perhaps Chivas can get a draw. Chivas’ attacking play is much improved and I foresee Alexis Vega getting his debut goal against Cruz Azul. However if Cruz Azul come out fighting and press high and if they get a goal or 2 before Chivas can react then Chivas will have a very long tough game.