Alexis Vega, the 21-year-old starlet, emphatically opened his goal account for his new club, scoring a hat-trick for Chivas in the Clasico Tapatio.
After making his big move to Guadalajara from Toluca in December, Alexis Vega had failed to score in Chivas’ first 6 games of the Clausura, despite being intricately involved in attacking play. It was also clear that he was forming a good relationship with fellow attackers Alan Pulido and Isaac Brizuela. That paid off Saturday night against Atlas.
The Clasico Tapatio, the oldest club rivalry in Mexico and one that every Chivas fan looks forward to, was the perfect opportunity for Vega to prove he is a big-game player. And he sure seized the opportunity.
More from Viva Liga MX
- Guillermo Ochoa is out 4-6 weeks
- The Clásico Regiomontano is Heating Up
- Pumas: In Search of Regaining a Top Spot
- Why the United States Is Set to Overtake Mexico on the World Stage
- Erick Gutierrez is out once again
A national team mini camp preceded the game as new Team Mexico coach Tata Martino wanted to being forging relationships between coaches and players. Vega attended and perhaps the experience gave the young striker the desire to prove himself in the Clasico Tapatio.
The Chivas had gone three league games without a win, and the atmosphere in the Estadio Akron was one of tense excitement.
Any nervousness was quickly dissipated, however when a defensive error by Atlas allowed Vega to race into the box and lob the ball over the helpless Atlas keeper. Vega had scored his first goal for his new club and the joy – and relief – was palpable in his celebration.
Fifteen minutes later, Isaac Brizuela slipped a brilliant cut back pass to Vega that set him free inside the box and he slotted home past the scrambling keeper to make it 2-0 Chivas.
The game was finished when Isaac Brizuela again found space on the right wing to put the ball on a plate for Alexis Vega to tap in his third.
The night could not have been more perfect for Vega, who was the subject of impatient murmurs due to his goal drought. Chivas fans hope that getting his debut goal out of the way will free him up to play without pressure.
His relationship with Brizeula was clearly evident and Chivas fans will no doubt hope they can become a goal-scoring force throughout the remainder of the Clausura.
Chivas are a changed team from the disappointing Apertura that ended in December, following on from poor league form the past several seasons. They appear to have regained a direct, attacking style of play which is perfectly suited to a striker of Vega’s caliber.
Let’s hope that Vega’s newfound scoring form will push Chivas further up into the Liguilla spots.