“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“In classical and medieval philosophy, the known world consisted of four distinct elements: earth, air, water, and fire. The fifth element referred to what was known as the ether, a special unknown substance that permeated the celestial sphere and was purer than any of the four terrestrial elements. One distinction that characterizes the ether is that it moves in a circular fashion, whereas the four terrestrial elements move linearly.” Merriam-Webster on the origin of the word Quintessence. A perfect description of Sunday night’s Rebaño Sagrado.
For brief instances during Sunday's match, Vuce’s Red and Whites were close to quintessence, that which is perfect. They moved in and around the Puma lines, and like water, took the form that was needed at that precise instance. Enough to get the job done. Just enough.
The idea behind the constant training is that the quintessential element be a constant throughout every game. Some teams have achieved moments of perfection for longer periods, but very few. The Madrid of the ’80s, the Barça of the ’90s, the Bayern of this decade. Such perfection of concentration is hard to maintain and takes much discipline.
The discipline was visible throughout much of the ninety minutes of the match especially after falling behind in the thirteenth minute. You could almost cut through the tension with a knife. But we could also see a change in their focus. The Red and Whites reached down deep within themselves and emerged with a focus and determination which resulted in thirty minutes of splendidly played futbol.
The Rebaño found its first moment of quintessence in the twenty-eight minute. A transformed Antuna, playing comfortably, became a blur down the right side. Breaking past two Puma defenders after Torres sent an impeccable ball down the line, Uriel Antuna reached the chalk and lifted a magnificent ball towards JJ who calmly smashed his fifth goal into the back of the net. Determination. Nine minutes later, down the opposite line, el Canelo Angulo intercepted a ball just behind the midfield and slipped a ball past the Puma midfield towards Macias who without hesitation passed towards Mayorga. A two-touch control and a left boot sent the ball towards the far post and into the net. Quintessence and synchronicity. The flow was back. But just as quickly as it had appeared it vanished in the second half. Chivas dedicated itself to counterattacking and defending their one-goal lead. Just enough.
What is important is that Chivas is back on its feet. The Vuce boys are coming together and forming a single amorphous body with one intention: Making it to the playoffs and lifting the cup.
Synchronous to the resurgence of the ghost of last season’s Chivas is a doubleheader week. Chivas will be competing directly with Queretaro and Mazatlán positioned respectively in eleventh and twelfth place just below Guadalajara. The ball is once again on our side of the pitch. It only remains for Chivas to take advantage of the forward momentum and come away with two wins which would catapult them into the top eight and quite possibly into the top three in league standings. The moment is perfect. One of Quintessential Synchronicity.