“I don’t know if God is a sports fan or not, but I do know this: He loves a good comeback”.
– Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss Head Coach)
If you are the kind of fan who likes to sit at the edge of your seat during the dying moments of a match then last Saturday evenings one between Guadalajara and FC Juarez was the game for you. And not in a good way.
Within the first 7 minutes, Vuce’s starting 11 found themselves down by one. Ferretti’s version of Los Bravos pushed forward without hesitation and on a quick counter came to fruition after a dubious call by the ref after a VAR review. A well-placed penalty shot sent home by Gabriel Fernandez and the nerve wracking began.
Chivas started their comeback run 5 minutes later, who else but our eternal ‘Cone’ intercepted near mid-field, then passed to Torres and he filtered to Aguayo, who in turn centered it, Zaldivar swung and missed, Cisneros sliding taped it back to ‘Chelo’, who on his second chance pushed it home. ‘No problemo’. The Universe was once again on its axle. Or so I believed.
The rest of the first half ran its course without surprises, both teams dug in and the remaining 30 minutes dragged on. Ferretti’s version of Juarez is eerily similar to his version of Tigres. El ‘Tucamion’ was in for the long haul. The really long haul.
Five minutes into the second half, Gabriel Fernandez gets his brace after recouping a rebound in the area and slamming it past our Tony the Tiger. Nothing to do. It was legit although the ball had glanced off a Bravo attackers’ hand. I could hear the ‘Tucamion’ turn its parking signal on.
Chivas pushed back hard, dominating mid-field, wave after wave crashed against Tuca’s defending 11. Both, Cisneros on the left and Brizuela on the right, kept the Juarez defenders on their toes. Midway through the second half, the clouds opened up making it even more difficult for the Red and Whites to find their way through Ferretti’s lines.
When it looked like Bravo’s were going to be flying back home with 3 points in the bag, that 70-30 Vibe made its game saving appearance. Under a driving curtain of rain, in the games dying minutes, the canteranos showed Juarez what they are made of. Time and again they pushed the Bravo defensive lines to their limits. That Chiva-Chiva Vibe was in full swing.
Time for one last push. 88th minute, a stolen ball in mid-field, ‘Checo’ Flores filtered towards Zaldivar, who controled and sent a ‘taquito’, the back-heel pass scurried past 3 defenders towards a barely onside Godinez, who was able to control and fire a rocket past Hugo Gonzalez. 70-30. Pure Chiva Power saved the day.
And the rest? Lo demas fue tramite. Both teams seemed satisfied with the result. But I will bet you anything, most Chiva aficionados were not.
As I flowed with the crowd filtering out of Akron Stadium into the cool early evening breeze I could already see tomorrows headlines: Chivas could not even beat lowly Bravo’s, for some just an Expansion team. I agree to an extent, yes it was Juarez, but the beauty of futbol is that even the lowliest team can win on a good day. Yes, we should have won, not because it was Bravos, but because WE ARE CHIVAS.