Andrea is absent from tonight's match so I'll try and hold the fort down in her absence.
Pachuca won SuperLiga right here in this building a year ago, topping the LA Galaxy in PKs. But, los Tuzos also lost a game right here to the same Galaxy squad, dropping a 2-1 result in the tournament opener.
For Chivas USA, the match is a historic one. It's their first-ever game in international competition.
Chivas USA: Lance Parker; Carey Talley, Claudio Suarez, Bobby Burling, Jonathan Bornstein; Sacha Kljestan, Jesse Marsch, Paulo Nagamura, Francisco Mendoza; Ante Razov, Atiba Harrs.
Pachuca: Miguel Calero; Leobardo Lopez, Julio Manzur, Gerardo Rodriguez; Fausto Pinto, Gabriel Caballero, Jaime Correa, Paul Aguilar; Damian Alvarez, Bruno Marioni, Christian Gimenez.
3 - Bornstein breaks into the penalty area, feeds Kljestan but no Karate Kid celebration as his shot rattles off the crossbar.
5 - Ante makes a run inside the box but loses the ball. Chivas have come out with an enormous amount of energy and are using all but two of the same starters from Thursday's game. Wonder how long the legs will hold up.
6 - Bornstein's centering pass skips across the area, just out of Atiba's reach. Atiba had an opening.
6 - Burling shows no fear as he muscles Bruno Marioni away from a ball. Before the season started, I never would have guessed that Bobby Burling would have been a SuperLiga starter.
8 - Penalty! Handball on Fausto Pinto. Chivas captain Suarez takes it... and... MISS!!!
9 - As Andrea pointed out, players who are normally rock-solid in MLS on PKs have been downright atrocious from the spot in SuperLiga. Suarez guessed right but nailed it off the left post. I don't remember another PK miss by Suarez in MLS. Don't think that's happened. yet.
14 - Pachuca's controlled the ball a little more now as it seems los Tuzos are settling into a rhythm. I imagine this also gives Lance Parker a chance to settle down and get over his nerves, which I'm sure he's feeling quite a bit right now.
16 - Burling again wins a tussle with Marioni as the Argentine is whislted for a foul.
16 - GOAL! Ante Razov finally breaks through! He also hits the crossbar but his ball bounces down and into the back of the net. Chivas 1-0. The play started on the right side as Carey Talley slipped a ball down the right flank to Atiba Harris. Harris collected the ball and tried to find Razov in front of the net. Leo Lopez, though, tried to clear the ball but it went right to Sacha Kljestan, who tried Ante again and found him right in front of the goal. Ante doesn't miss much from there.
19 - Chivas again putting the pressure on Pachuca but the ball goes into touch. Guess it's fitting that Ante gets Chivas' first international goal. He also accounted for their first playoff goal but not their first-ever goal. That would be Thiago Martins.
23 - GOAL! Pachuca! And just like that, it's even. Panchito Mendoza was called for a foul deep in Chivas' third. Marioni knocked in the free kick as he got past Suarez and deflected the pass into the back of the net. Some up here in the pressbox questioned the foul, though, as it appeared Mendoza got all ball on his tackle.
25 - Now it's Pachuca attacking furiously. Damian Alvarez races into the area and forces a corner kick, that Lance Parker punches out to Pinto, who squres a ball to Correa. Correa shot on goal but Parker dives and makes the save.
30 - Leo Lopez was injured and tended to and returned with a white bandage on his head. Gabriel Caballero and Bruno Marioni are wearing headbands but Bruno's is black. Still, it's not too hard to distinguish Lopez from Caballero - Lopez looks kinda like Calen Carr, though he's not as skinny.
32 - Paulino rips a shot from long distance, rebound falls to Kljestan but he can't control it.
33 - Razov fouled some 22 yards out. He and Sacha stand over the ball.
34 - Ante takes it but it goes well wide of the goal.
35 - Panchito does well to get around some Tuzo defenders but his cross is abysmal. Too far for Ante, not far enough for Atiba.
37 - Marioni is offside as he races after ball in area. On play, though, Lance Parker was aggressive in charging off line and challenging for ball.
38 - Suarez with a foul for another Pachuca free kick. Chivas giving away too many set pieces early on.
39 - A close shot by Manzur as he knocks cross toward goal but the ball lands on top of net.
42 - GOAL! Caballero! Pachuca leads 2-1. Cross came from left side as Rodriguez. Caballero had space and flicked the header into the back of the net. Parker had no chance. Not sure if Guzan would have made that save.
44 - That could be a backbreaking goal for Chivas. The first half was pretty even but Chivas had quite a bit of energy and to still go into the locker room at halftime losing - especially with two shots of the woodwork - could be demoralizing. Plus, Pachuca probably has the advantage in terms of fitness.
45 - Two minutes of stoppage time. Pachuca knocking the ball around as the "Ole!" chants grow louder.
HALFTIME - The first half was played a frenetic pace. With little on his bench, Preki has to hope his players have 45 more minutes in them. Only real option off bench is Jorge Flores... Anthony Hamilton might be useful, but hasn't looked good in recent games. Justin Braun is not in uniform.
50 - Razov nearly equalizes but Calero makes a diving save as Razov nearly heads a shot into the back of the net. Calero dived and knocked the ball away with a quick reaction save.
55 - Chivas' legs dont look quite dead yet. Panchito and Bornstein look particularly active. Harris too.
57 - Razov does well to create space but his shot goes well over the crossbar.
60 - Marioni tests Parker from close range. Rodriguez (who else?) swings a cross into the box and Marioni beats Burling to the ball. His shot, though, goes right to Parker who does well to make the reaction save.
61 - Chivas subs: Daniel Paladini and Jim Curtin in, Jesse Marsch and Bobby Burling out. Looks like Preki set an hour limit on those two.
69 - Chivas sub: Anthony Hamilton in for Ante Razov. It'll be tough for Chivas to come back without Razov. Pachuca makes pair of moves as marioni and Caballero are out for Francisco Torres and Christian Correa.
75 - Another attack goes nowhere. Preki is probably wishing Alecko Eskandarian, Maykel Galindo, Raphael Wicky, Lawson Vaughn and Justin Braun were all healthy. But they're not, so we get Hamilton and Paladini.
80 - Panchito wins a corner, Pachuca makes their last sub. Juan Carlos Rojas in, Chaco Gimenez out.
81 - Corner kick goes nowheere as Calero skies for it and punches it away.
85 - Okay, the clubs get four subs apparently. Kraig Chiles replaced Carey Talley and now Luis Montes has replaced Damian Alvarez.
86 - Parker with another save, stopping Correa from close range.
88 - Okay, I've got all three of my match reports written. A late Chivas goal here would set me back quite a bit. A Pachuca goal would only force me to re-work my respective ledes. Come on Tuzos... I kid... sort of...
90 - A pair of late yellows, one on Curtin and one on Paladini.
90+ - Four minutes of stoppage time. Too much time, as my night could still get ruined. Pachuca nearly scores but Rodriguez turned away by Parker. Now a near fatality in th emiddle of the field. Okay, not so much, but the Tuzo player will milk this for as much as he can. Looks like five people are off the sidelines to tend to him, and carry him off on a stretcher. Okay, he only milked about 30 seconds off clock. Hopefully he lives.
90+ - Pachuca with the ball for majority of time now. Late counter now, Rodriguez looks for Correa but he fans on it.
90+ - Chivas counters now but bad pass ruins it.
Pachuca 2, Chivas USA 1. Thanks for following along.