MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — Without playing great soccer, Chivas is undefeated and after two rounds in the vanguard group of the Clausura tournament in Mexico. To stay there, Guadalajara will need to improve their collective performances to overcome the absence of striker Alexis Vega when they face Toluca for the third straight day.
In Qatar 2022, the Mexican national team Vega underwent surgery on his right knee and will be out of circulation for at least a month and a half, leaving the Rojiblanco attack without two of its best players. Center forward Jose Juan Macias is yet to return after tearing ligaments in his knee last summer.
Midfielder Fernando Gonzalez said, “Vega is a player who contributes a lot and so we are sorry that he was injured, it is clear that we will miss him.” “We are sure that those who are available will do a great job for Alexis.”
Chivas, with their new Serbian coach Velko Paunović, began their journey in the Clausura with an away win over Monterrey in a match in which their goalkeeper Miguel Jiménez had a figure with seven saves and then drew against San Luis, Although he played with a man more almost the entire meeting.
With its four points, Guadalajara escapes leaders Tigres (6) and Atlético San Luis, who have the same number of points but a better goal difference.
After being relegated from the league in the previous tournament, the Chivas leadership sacked sporting director Ricardo Peláez and coach Ricardo Cadena, appointing Spaniards Fernando Hierro and Paunović, respectively.
“The mindset that ‘Teacher’ has given us is fundamental because we always go out looking for results,” Gonzalez said. “Having four points in two rounds is favorable and the key is the coach.”
Since they were crowned in the Clausura 2017, Chivas have advanced in the league only twice and their best result was a semi-final in the Apertura 2020.
The team with the third most championships in Mexico, behind Toluca, Chivas and América, comes off the brink of their first championship since the Clausura 2010.
The team, led by Ignacio Umbridge, was strengthened with three players, including Maximiliano Araujo of Uruguay, who had been seeking to step up in his absence.
Midfielder Marcel Ruiz said, “We know (Vega’s) ability, but they can replace him with another player.” “Beyond watching them, we’re going to try to focus on our game, our systems and try to exploit any weaknesses that they have.”
Toluca now has one point, with one game less, and is placed eleventh in the championship.
Other matches: Mazatlán-Santos, Tijuana-Tigers, Monterrey-San Luis, América-Puebla, Chivas-Toluca, Nexaxa-Blue Cross, Pumas-Lions, Querétaro-Atlas and Pachuca-Juárez.