Chivas overcome feisty San Luis to force Super Clásico

ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 27: Dieter Villalpando of Chivas celebrates with teammates after scoring the second goal for this team during the match between Chivas and San Luis as part of the Copa MX Clausura 2019 at Akron Stadium on February 27, 2019 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images)
ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 27: Dieter Villalpando of Chivas celebrates with teammates after scoring the second goal for this team during the match between Chivas and San Luis as part of the Copa MX Clausura 2019 at Akron Stadium on February 27, 2019 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

The Chivas fought past Atlético San Luis to set up a Super Clásico in the quarterfinals of the Copa MX. The Pumas will face Diego Maradona.

The Guadalajara Chivas overcame a first-half deficit with some help from the referee and advanced to a Super Clásico match-up against América thanks to a splendid goal by Dieter Villalpando in minute 76.

Second division Atlético San Luis gave the Chivas everything they could handle, taking a lead on a magnificent individual effort by Noe Maya in minute 27.

The San Luis midfielder joined an attack with a burst toward the box, collected a pass from the left flank but fumbled the reception, then slipped to the ground. He scrambled to his feet as two Chivas closed in, quickly spun through the double-team and a fired a right-footer from 16 meters that left goalie Miguel Jiménez absolutely no time to react.

Earlier, Chivas defender Juan Miguel Basulto was denied by Tuneros goalie Roberto Salcedo. Guadalajara pressed forward with possession on the left, probing for space in the box. Alan Pulido came away from the flank, dribbling across the top of the box and found Basulto who had come forward. The defender sent a screamer to the goalie’s right that Salcedo was able to knock away with a dive.

Basulto was rejected again just before halftime off a corner kick. Pulido lifted a cross into the scrum in the center of the box with the ball dropping at Basulto’s feet. The veteran back-liner smacked a low shot toward the left post but a retreating Mario de Luna thrust out his left leg and deflected the shot over the crossbar.

The Chivas trailed 1-0 at halftime and dreams of a national derby were dimming.

Just three minutes into the second half, Chivas keeper Jiménez made a tremendous save off a flicked header that was ticketed for the back post.

Referee Oscar Mejía then inserted himself into the conversation. Tuneros teen midfielder Orlando Sánchez stepped on the heel of Pulido while going for a steal and Mejía harshly showed him a red card.

Pulido nearly scored in minute 61 but his diving header slammed off the right post.

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Three minutes later, Mejía whistled a penalty against San Luis (a legitimate call) and Tuneros coach Alfonso Sosa went ballistic, earning a trip to the showers.  Pulido converted to knot the score in minute 65.

With 15 minutes remaining, the Chivas pushed forward down the left, Villalpando finding Pulido on the flank and the Chivas captain popped a centering pass across the box. Striker Luis Madrigal drifted to his right to chase down the cross and headed backwards toward Villalpando who had followed the play. Villalpando brought the ball down with his chest and one-timed a volley into the back of the net.

The Chivas move on to the quarterfinals where they will face América in two weeks’ time.

Pumas 3, Zacatepec 0

Juan Iturbe scored twice in the opening half and the Pumas breezed to a win over second division Zacatepec.

The game was rather even through the first 20 minutes before UNAM began asserting itself. Pumas goalie Miguel Angel Fraga kept the game scoreless through the first half hour, always in position and alert between the pipes.

In minute 32, the Pumas moved deep down the right flank before Idekel Domínguez cut back a pass to David Cabrera near the corner of the box. The midfielder right-footed a pass to Iturbe above the half-moon and Iturbe trapped the pass forward onto his left foot and volleyed a low blast into the net.

Ten minutes later, Iturbe found space in the middle of the pitch and fired from 28 meters, the shot crossing in front of the goalie and hugging the right post.

Chivas, Pumas win
Juan Iturbe celebrates his second goal. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Just before halftime, the Cañeros narrowly missed cutting the deficit in half but a shot bounded off the left post directly to Fraga who was near the opposite post.

Martín Rodríguez closed out the scoring in minute 66.

The Pumas will host the Dorados of Sinaloa in the quarterfinals, marking Diego Maradona’s return to Estadio Olímpico Universitario where No. 10 led Argentina to a 3-1 victory over South Korea in the 1986 World Cup.

Juárez and Veracruz advance

Second division Juárez pulled off the surprise of the night, eliminating red-hot León in a penalty kick shoot-out after a scoreless draw.

León had won five straight in league play and had been scoring goals with alacrity. Granted, the Esmeraldas did not open the game with their starting line-up but Juárez – playing at home – showed poise and confidence.

León coach Ignacio Ambriz sent his starting forwards in during the second half, but neither Joel Campbell nor Angel Mena could find the goal.

In the shoot-out, Juárez goalie Iván Vázquez stopped the first two León attempts and the Bravos went on to win 4-2. Juárez is in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive Cup tournament. Last season, the Bravos stunned América in Estadio Azteca by scoring a late goal to force a shoot-out then winning a nervy 20-shot shoot-out 9-8.

In Veracruz, the Tiburones were fortunate to get past second division Zacatecas, scoring two late goals to survive a tough challenge from the Mineros.

Missael Morales had given the visitors a lead with a 25-meter rocket that dipped under the crossbar in minute 45.

Only 5 minutes into the second half, Veracruz midfielder Carlos Gutiérrez should have been ejected after he hatcheted down a Minero player who had dispossessed him along the sideline. The ref let him escape with a yellow card. It was a bad call.

Zacatecas goalie Antonny Monreal was an adventure all night, especially with the ball at his feet. His passing out of the back was an issue and he tended to wander off his line when not necessary.

Tiburones forward Jefferson Murillo missed an easy equalizer in minute 70, but made up for it 2 minutes later.

Monreal chased a cross to the back side but only barely got his fingertips on it. As he scrambled to get back in position, Murillo quickly re-centered and Diego Chavez headed to the opposite post before Monreal could react.

A few minutes later, Monreal drifted out to the top of the box even though his central defenders were in position and the ball popped out to the side but the goalie was able to recover and make a diving save as Raymundo Fulgencio tried to slot home.

Ronaldo Prieto came on as a sub in minute 85 and 3 minutes later he was the hero. The 21-year-old striker collected a pass at the top of the box, tapped ahead to his left foot and fired a shot back across to the right that slipped inside the post for the winner.

Veracruz will travel to Cd. Juárez to face the Bravos in a quarterfinal match in mid-March.