In a high-octane shootout at the Omnilife stadium, not apt for the feign of heart, Chivas and Pachuca settled their match week 15 dispute with a 4-4 draw. The goal-fest had a special guest in Mexico national team manager Juan Carlos Osorio who is preparing for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Despite Chivas not having secured a playoffs spot manager Matias ‘Pelado’ Almeyda decided to field a makeshift side in order to rest key players for the Copa MX final against Leon set to be played next Wednesday.
The ‘Tuzos’ of Pachuca proved to be more aggressive in the opening minutes forcing Chivas to concede possession. Chivas failed to handle the pressure and within three minutes gave up the fist goal of the match to a Jonathan Urretaviscaya tap-in.
After 10 minutes of domination Chivas managed to react and begun recovering space and possession. Making the best of possession was Raul ‘Dedos’ Lopez who broke past the Tuzos defense setting up teammate Angel Zaldivar for the equalizer in the 15th minute.
Two minutes later Chivas would take the lead as a misplaced tackle from Aquivaldo Mosquera would open the path for Michel Vasquez to score his second goal of the season and relieve the Chivas faithful that the makeshift team could get the job done.
By the 32nd minute Zaldivar would extend Chivas lead to two goals leaving no doubts in Almeyda’s decision to leave the team’s top striker and captain Omar Bravo in the bench. The Argentine manager’s risky changes were paying off as the half came to an end.
Chivas maintained control of the match up until the 60th minute mark when the Tuzos had a whirlwind reaction scoring 3 goals in the span of 7 minutes. Hugo Rodriguez put the Tuzos back in the match after Chivas keeper Antonio Rodriguez failed to properly clear a free kick shot. Three minutes later Franco Jara leveled the match with a header. By the 67th minute Jara would bag his second goal of the match giving Pachuca the lead off a well placed penalty kick shot.
Almeyda’s gamble was now proving costly as a defeat would hinder the club’s chances of qualifying for the league playoffs. With that in mind Bravo along with attacking partner Carlos Fierro were soon subbed in to help salvage the match.
The boost in confidence of having the Chivas captain idol on the field was quick helping Chivas earn a questionable penalty kick call, over Vasquez, in the 73rd minute. Bravo would make no mistake with the spot kick tying the match and keeping Chivas in the fight to qualify for the playoffs. Currently in 12th place of the league table Chivas, which postponed their game against Atlas due to hurricane Patricia, have three games left in the season.
After the game Chivas upstart Lopez told reporters that the tie felt like a loss. “It feels like a loss because we needed the three points for the percentage chart (relegation zone) which is very important and it’s not good to tie at home,” lamented Lopez. Almeyda, however, felt the tie was valuable.
“I value the players reaction. Twice they were losing, once they turned it around and then they leveled at four goals. The point earned will be valued with time. It’s not what we were looking for, we wanted the win but sometimes the way games play out we need to analyze them and see that it’s not that bad,” Almeyda said.