After a big win last week, Guadalajara wasted a chance to ease the pressure on coach Tomas Boy.
The Chivas came into Matchday 3 with a 1-1-0 record. Inconsistency has been the watchword, beating the defending champs last week, but losing to a formidable Santos team in the opener.
The Camoteros came in off a bye (they were thrashed 3-1 by Tijuana in Week 1). Puebla looked weak defensively, especially at fullback. During their bye, they defeated Spain’s Real Betis in a friendly, trying to regroup ahead of the Chivas encounter. And Puebla did defeat Guadalajara rather easily in their last meeting.
The game kicked off and the Chivas didn’t look like the team that showed up to play the Tigres. Puebla controlled the ball (55% possession), though they typically play off the counter more.
Right back Alejandro Chumacero (playing out of positions, as he has been used more as a midfielder) has been a weak spot for Puebla and it showed when he took Eduardo “Chofis’ Lopez down on the right side of the box in the 8th minute. Defender Oswaldo Alanis stepped up and took the corner with poise burying it to the left-side of the goal and sending Uruguayan keeper Nicolas Vikonis to the right. (Alan Pulido didn’t have seem to have an issue with Alanis taking the penalty this time around.)
Puebla’s poor start could have been worse. A few minutes earlier, a Chivas fast break was stopped with a foul in the box on Alan Pulido, but offsides erased that penalty.
But the hosts recovered and they had a great opportunity on a header in the 35th minute as Canadian striker Lucas Cavallini just missed with a header. Just before halftime, Puebla earned a free kick and Alanis and keeper Antonio Rodriguez got tied up as the ball was recentered into a scrum in front of goal.
Alanis headed the ball away just as Rodriguez came out to punch it away. The ball ended up at the feet of Camoteros defender Brayan Angulo and his quick volley deflected off a prone Cavallini and into the net. If the ball had not hit the Puebla striker, it seemed like Rodriguez was in position to stop the shot.
After halftime, Puebla slowly started to take control. In minute 59, Cavallini made a spinning play to get the ball from “Chofis” and Puebla moved forward quickly. Matias Alustiza made a nice pass to Cavallini trailing the play down the left channel and he smoothly slotted it home.
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As the two teams lined up for the restart, the video assistant replay alerted the ref about a possible foul. A quick visit to the replay booth ensues as observers wonder if their was an offside on the play. The ref returns and shows Cavallini a red and erases the goal. The score remains 1-1.
The replay showed Cavallini spinning to win the ball and extending his right leg to shield the ball from “Chofis.” Cavallini’s cleats made contact with the Chivas midfielder just above the ankle, bending it violently. It was a brutal foul. That should have turned the tide for the Chivas, but they couldn’t keep their arms down, and constantly fouled Puebla players.
Guadalajara left back Miguel Ponce was shown a red in minute 72 for a second yellow card. He had tried to slow down Chumacero by extending his arm, making contact with a hand to the face. The ref didn’t like that (it was the exact same foul that led to the Chivas penalty).
Both teams were down to 10 men. For the next 15 minutes, the Chivas were on their heels and the fact they didn’t give up a goal is a credit to Rodriguez. The Guadalajara back line did little to help him. The keeper made three stops on three different Puebla players in the final minutes, preserving the point. Still, Boy’s seat got hotter and hotter, though Puebla coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola’s seat is also uncomfortable.
Man of the Match
Chivas keeper Antonio Rodriguez came to the rescue again for the Chivas. There was the mix-up on the goal, but he and his defenders have to be on the same page. Spatial awareness is important and Alanis knows better than to be coming out and not clearing the ball when his keeper is right behind him and leaving them vulnerable.
Rodriguez is the reason Guadalajara came away with the draw whether anyone likes it or not. The Chivas need to be able to score more than one goal against a team as poor defensively as Puebla.