There's something about watching a packed Estadio Azteca during El Super Clasico. It's not just the historic, legendary moments that occurred there, either. Having been in a stadium surrounded by half as many fans as the masses that occupied Azteca today, I know firsthand of the beauty in being a part of the spectacle, and the sights and smells that accompany the scene. One can only imagine that Chivas' away win against Club America went a little something like that. Although the match started off suspiciously slow, both teams soon tested the other's keeper. Hugo Duran saved Rafael Marquez Lugo's one-on-one attempt, while Chivas keeper Luis Michel prevented Rubens Sambueza from getting ahead. Chivas opened up the score after a well-executed throw-in gave Marco Fabian the header into the near post. Ironically, it was Fabian who was booked for bringing down Sambueza, giving America a free kick that carried much potential for the equalizer. But the home team tied the score during regular play, with Juan Carlos Medina picking up a cross that his teammates failed to get their heads on.
Both teams got the game to a pretty good tempo at the end of the first half. At that point, there was no telling as to where this game would go. The guests' motivation was well at work, however, and it was Chivas calling the shots after halftime. Even though America put some pressure on in the first minutes of the second half, their efforts were cut short by a fiery team spirit. Rafael Marquez tested Hugo Duran, who flew in for the save. An America corner was cleared away, but unlike the usual counters that follow, it's difficult to explain how the ball ended up in Hugo Duran's net. Just like that corner, the Chivas goal came out of nowhere. Marquez used the element of surprise, fooling the defense after picking up a through ball and netting the ball in from afar. The referee saved the Eagles from a possible penalty after what appeared to be a Paul Aguillar handball. It was a difficult call, as the player was falling while the ball ricocheted off him, and replays did not clearly show whether the ball touched any part of his arm. America had some good defending as Chivas continued their long-range efforts, but Chivas finally broke through the home team's defense. Omar Esparza's pass to Marquez gave the latter a left-footed shot. Duran jumped to paw the ball away, but it was a difficult shot, and the keeper couldn't prevent Marquez from scoring his double. It was clear that America wouldn't score any more goals in today's Super Clasico if they didn't change up their tactics, unless Chivas happened to lose the ball. Miguel Herrera's team had but one moment in the second half that forced a defender to kick the ball away before it reached the net. America scored in stoppage time, but the goal was disallowed - replays showed that the ball bounced off Aguilar's arm before he scored.
All of the goals were scored beautifully. The game did not seem to be leaning heavily in favor of either team, although America did seem to have more possession at first. In the end, Chivas made more use of their chances and broke through America's defense by bombarding the net from long-range shots, while America resorted to trying to play the ball into the opposition's box. The home team's tactics slowed their game and decreased their chances as the players tired out in the second half. Albeit being devoid of the over-the-top action characteristic of a Clasico, the match was full of enough surprises to fulfill every fan's expectations.
Liga MX - 12th Matchweek
Saturday, October 6, 2012, 6:00 PM EST
El Super Clasico
Club America vs. Chivas - 1:3 (1:1)
Arena: Estadio Azteca (Mexico City, Mexico)
Referee: Jorge Perez Duran (Orizaba, Mexico)
0:1 Marco Fabian (36')
1:1 Juan Carlos Medina (40')
1:2 Rafael Marquez Lugo (60')
1:3 Rafael Marquez Lugo (68')
MVP = Rafael Marquez Lugo (Chivas)