[SUPERLIGA] Two newcomers made their debuts, and stalwart Paulo Nagamura was also on hand, yet still Chivas USA fell to Puebla, 2-1, in their SuperLiga Group A opener Thursday at Home Depot Center.
Andres Olivera and Alvaro Gonzalez scored for Puebla, which commanded midfield for much of the match yet tired late and conceded a goal to Michael Umana. Olivera struck in the fifth minute to convert a ball from Gabriel Pereyra, and just after the hour mark Alejandro Acosta set up Gonzalez.
Debutants Rodolfo Espinoza and Giancarlo Maldonado started for Chivas USA, as did Nagamura. The signings of all three were officially announced this week. Maldonado played up top with Justin Braun, and Espinoza played in midfield alongside Nagamura and also floated wide left on occasion.
Espinoza’s corner kick from the left was headed into the net by defender Umana in the 85th minute to cut Puebla’s lead in half, but the Mexican club held off subsequent Chivas USA attacks.
Chivas USA defender Yamith Cuesta received a second caution for a hard foul in stoppage time and will sit out Sunday when Chivas USA plays Houston at Robertson Stadium on the second day of group play. Puebla’s win gives it a share of the Group A lead alongside Houston, which beat Pachuca, 2-1, on Thursday.
July 15 in Carson, Calif.
Chivas USA 1, Puebla 2. Goals: Umana 85; Olivera 5, Gonzalez 61.
Chivas USA – Kennedy, Trujillo (Delgado, 86), Cuesta, Umana, Jazic, Lahoud, Espinoza, Nagamura (Saragosa, 63), Bornstein, Maldonado (Romero, 75), Braun (Padilla, 46).
Puebla – Alvarez; Ayala, Velasquez, Acosta, Juarez, Salinas, Corona, Lugo (A. Gonzalez, 46), Olivera (Rincon, 79), Ortiz (J. Gonzalez 63), Pereyra (Aja, 69).
Red card: Cuesta 93+.
Referee: Jaime Luis Molina Sanchez.