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Chivas-Atlas battle for soccer crown

Guadalajara bars were full and loud Thursday, May 11 as fierce local soccer rivals Chivas and Atlas faced off in the first game of their two-leg quarter final of the Liga Mx’s 2023 Clausura competition.

In a thrilling playoff game at their home Estadio Jalisco, Atlas earned a narrow 1-0 win, thanks to a thunderbolt first-half strike by Colombian Julián Quiñones. Atlas missed several other chances to widen the gap, but had goalie Camilo Vargas to thank for saving a first half penalty.

The teams meet again Sunday in the second leg, this time at Chivas’ Akron Stadium on the western outskirts of the Guadalajara metropolitan area, when another full house is guaranteed.

The Liga Mx—Mexico’s premier professional soccer league—has two seasons over the course of a year, running from August to December (known as the Apertura) and January to May (Clausura).

Despite Atlas’ slim advantage from the first leg, given their excellent form in the regular season, Chivas fans will be optimistic that the Rojiblancos (red and whites) will be able to overcome the Rojinegros (red and blacks), as the two Guadalajara teams are commonly referred to, in the return game.

Chivas finished third in the regular season table, meaning they avoided a wild card game, qualifying directly for the quarter finals. Atlas, by dint of their 9th place finish, had to travel to the capital for a wild card game against Cruz Azul last weekend, in which, against all the expert predictions, they triumphed 1-0.

Twelve-time champions Chivas’ last Liga Mx title was in 2017 (Clausura), while Atlas ended 70 years without a title with consecutive triumphs in 2021 (Apertura) and 2022 (Clausura).

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