‘Chofis’ leads Chivas to dominant win over San Luis

Eduardo "Chofis" Lopez smiles after scoring in minute 15 against Atletico San Luis. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images)
Eduardo "Chofis" Lopez smiles after scoring in minute 15 against Atletico San Luis. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images) /

Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez scored early and Guadalajara converted two penalty kicks to cruise to an easy victory.

Nobody was sure what to expect as the Chivas took the field at Estadio Akron for a Matchday game against Atletico San Luis.

Guadalajara defeated Santos midweek in a Copa MX match, but last week only managed a tie against a lowly Puebla. So what would we see from Tomas Boy and his gang?

First off, we saw a tweak in the formation, a 3-5-2, to take advantage of Guadalajara’s strength – its midfield. Eduardo Lopez, Dieter Villalpando and Isaac Brizuela looked impressive driving the offense, while up front the duo of Oribe  Peralta and Alan Pulido got the start (I thought Alexis Vega deserved the nod).

Atletico San Luis arrived off a bye after an impressive Matchday 2 victory over Monterrey. During the week, the Tuneros battled the Pumas to a draw in Copa MX. Coach Alfonso Sosa came out with a flat, defensive line-up in a 4-4-1-1 shape. Argentine striker Nicholas Ibañez was alone up front and the rest of San Luis shaded back.

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The first half offered little, and the stats were even. The difference was a failed clearance. Pulido lost possession on a move started by Villalpando and Peralta as “Chofis’ Lopez overlapped, but the Tuneros could not poke it away. The ball ricocheted to “Chofis” just outside the top of the box, he spun left to make space and quickly fired a low shot back across to the far side, burying the ball in the bottom right corner. 1-0 Chivas in minute 15.

Still, Guadalajara almost got exposed as the first half wound down but right back Jose Carlos Van Rankin woke up in time to clean up a San Luis long ball.

Things got wild in the second half. Peralta got open on a free kick, heading it home to the left corner around hour mark, but video replay found he was offside. Five minutes later, Pulido was taken down in the box and this tie VAR ruled in Guadalajara’s favor. Pulido stepped up, did a shimmy and buried it in the right side, as San Luis keeper Carlos Rodriguez went the other way. Chivas up 2-0.

Chivas beat San Luis
Alan Pulido celebrates after converting a second half penalty kick to put the Chivas up 2-0. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images) /

The home team looked dangerous and San Luis seemed to give up though Chivas goalie Antonio Rodriguez was called upon to make some saves, and he made all 3 that were necessary.

In minute 85, another penalty was called on Atletico San Luis. This time defender Oswaldo Alanis stepped up and, although San Luis’ Rodriguez guessed right, Alanis’ shot was too good. 3-0 Chivas.

The Chivas continued to attack but somehow didn’t capitalize. Atletico was exposed and Chivas did to them as they pleased. Substitute Alexis Vega had three good chances (Peralta had 0 shots in 65 minutes, by the way). Another sub, Alan Cervantes made a good run and was rewarded with a pass. He cut back and nearly scored. Then Pulido found space in the box, but slipped as he tried to hurry his shut under pressure.

The Chivas earned an easy 3-0 win and coach Boy’s seat is considerably less hot. But the Chivas can’t relax because they need all the points they can get. Boy showed he can be creative with his formations and he’ll have to continue getting the most out of his best players.

Chivas beat San Luis
“Chofis” has earned the confidence of coach Tomas Boy and it paid dividends Saturday night.(Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Man of the Match

Eduardo Lopez attacked well and even did his share of defending, but most importantly he took care of the ball. He seemed to respond very well to the confidence being shown him by coach Boy. Say what you will about Boy, but his confidence in “Chofis” appears to be well-placed. I still say that a line-up featuring “Chofis” and Alexis Vega up front would be a joy to watch.