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Gudiño becomes Chivas hero overnight

America v Chivas - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 30: Raul Gudiño #1 of Chivas celebrates after stopping a penalty kick during the 11th round match between America and Chivas as part of the Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX at Azteca Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

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Outside of their shocking and surprising CONCACAF Champions League title earlier in 2018, it’s been a rough last few months for Chivas de Guadalajara fans.

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Over the 2017-2018 Apertura and Clausura campaigns, Chivas had the third-worst record in Liga MX, and while things have been a bit better during the 2018 Apertura, Chivas looked as if it was about to lose a heartbreaker in the Clasico Nacional to Club America. That was before Raul Gudiño had something to say about it.

The 22-year-old former Mexican youth international who could become El Tri’s No. 1 in the future came up with a massive penalty kick save in the 97th minute of the match to save a 1-1 draw for Chivas against Las Aguilas. Gudiño, formerly signed by FC Porto before returning to his home at Chivas this summer, uncoiled from his spot in the middle of the goal like a loaded spring and dove to his right, palming the penalty kick away. It wasn’t the best taken penalty kick by Matias Uribe but it was a great save nonetheless.

Returning to Mexico may have been the best medicine for a player like Gudiño, who until this season was looking for first team minutes with a major club. While Chivas may continue to struggle scoring (it hasn’t won a game since August), they appear to have a gem in the goal. And with Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa, Gudiño is reminding the Mexican fanbase and press that there’s a ready-made replacement in the pipeline.