The Chivas forced a penalty kick shootout with a last-gasp equalizer but slipped up from the spot while Puebla was a perfect 5-for-5 and the Camoteros advanced to a quarterfinal match-up against top-seeded América.
Liga MX Wildcard Weekend ended with a thriller that saw Puebla cough up its lead in minute 90+6 when substitute Jesús Angulo filtered a beautiful pass to Carlos Cisneros who made no mistake, blasting a left-footer past Camoteros goalie Antony Silva.
The hosts had taken the lead in minute 58 when retained possession after its own free kick was punched out by Chivas goalie Miguel Jiménez. Emilio Martínez surveyed the field and sent a perfectly weighted pass over Guadalajara defender Gilberto Sepúlveda who lost contact with Martín Barragán allowing the Puebla striker to head home.
Jiménez took some grief for punching out the original free kick as it seemed as though he could have easily come down with the ball. As true as that might be, Sepúlveda was equally to blame for failing to mark Barragán.
Angulo plays hero, then villain
Jesús Angulo suffered a broken leg during the Chivas’ Liga MX wildcard match last season and Sunday’s appearance was just his fourth game of the Apertura 2022. All in all, “Canelo” saw 29 minutes of action in three Liga MX regular-season games when stepped onto the field in minute 88 with the Chivas in desperate need of a goal.
Less than 10 minutes later, Angulo trapped a headed clearance with his right foot, quickly shifted to his left and led Cisneros into the box perfectly for the game-tying goal.
When the whistle blew a few minutes later, the game was sent to penalty kicks. The teams were tied at 3-3 after the first six players took their turns and “Canelo” stepped up to the mark. Unfortunately for “El Rebaño Sagrado,” Angulo slipped as he took his shot and the ball skipped off the crossbar and into the stands.
Puebla continued their excellence in shootouts. In each of their last four Liga MX wildcard appearance, the Camoteros have advanced to the quarterfinals by winning from the penalty spot. The Chivas were victimized in this very manner in the same stadium only two seasons ago.
Top seeds advance to Liga MX quarterfinals
Puebla entered their wildcard match as the No. 8 seed, edging ninth-seeded Guadalajara for home field advantage by virtue of a better goal-scoring record.
Both clubs had 22 points and a +2 goal differential after the 17-game Liga MX regular season. “La Franja” earned the higher seed because it had scored 25 goals compared to Guadalajara’s 19.
The Liga MX quarterfinals – known as the Liguilla in Mexico – pits the top eight seeds in a two-legged home-and-home series. Liga MX rules require the lower seed to outscore the higher seed to advance. In other words, if after 180 minutes the score is tied, the higher seed moves on.
The match-ups are as follows:
No. 1 América vs. No. 8 Puebla
No. 2 Monterrey vs No. 7 Cruz Azul
No. 3 Santos Laguna vs No. 6 Toluca
No. 4 Pachuca vs No. 5 Tigres