After less than a month the Liga MX is back and Friday’s opening fixtures provided giants, Chivas the chance to redeem themselves after a woeful 2013. New Coach, Jose Luis Real did see some improvements to perhaps offer some optimism but Los Rojiblancos were pegged back to a 1-1 draw against a slightly sluggish Santos side. Earlier, Queretaro got off to a winning start thanks to Argentine, Miguel Martinez’s header, giving them a 1-0 win over a disappointing Morelia.
Queretaro impressed in their opening fixture as they stifled the supremely talented and dangerous, Morelia strike-force. With such a short close season and no time to bed in new players, Morelia will undoubtedly improve over the coming weeks but that takes nothing away from Queretaro bustling display. The only goal of the game came after 16 minutes when Diego de la Torre swung in a free kick and Martinez climbed to nod past Carlos Rodriguez.
After a 2013 in which Chivas won only 5 Liga MX matches and relegation has crept up on the most decorated side in Mexican football, a new lease of life is needed this season. It wasn’t exactly a transformation but there are signs of life in Guadalajara and the performances, in particular of Carlos Fierro in midfield and Pato Araujo in shutting out Oribe Peralta are positive signs.
It took only 3 minutes for Chivas to lead when a break down the right found Omar Bravo in space and the veteran Mexico striker made no mistake in smashing the ball past Oswaldo Sanchez.
Like Morelia earlier, Santos were not at 100% at this stage of the season and the first half was somewhat disjointed. A good time to meet them but fully taken advantage of by a Chivas side who would have perhaps been incapable of doing that last season.
As expected Pedro Caixinha got a response from his side after the break and it took just 5 minutes to draw level. Jose Abella fired in a low cross from the right and Israel Castro ended diverting the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Chivas responded well and both sides had chances to take the lead as the game went back and forth. Santos were reduced to 10 men after 66 minutes when Oswaldo Alanis was shown a second yellow card and this allowed Chivas to take advantage. However, they were unable to make their numerical advantage count and the game ended in a draw.