I knew that I was dying. Something in me said, “Go ahead, die, sleep, become as them, accept.” Then something else in me said, “No, save the tiniest bit. It needn't be much, just a spark. A spark can set a whole forest on fire. Just a spark. Save it.” Charles Bukowski
And so, once again, the flame of hope has been ignited in our heart of hearts. Vuce’s starting eleven came out and literally dominated the moribund pup from Tijuana, a ghost of Xoloitzcuintle’s past. Leaderless and directionless after Pablo Guede’s hasty resignation last week, Xolo’s barely put their paws up. Ildelfonso “Pichus” Mendoza, TJ’s interim DT tried to shore up the lines but you could see that even though the body was willing, the spirit of Xolos had left the building with Guede. Sorry, my border brothers but the truth is the powder keg which has been Chivas this whole semester was able to let off a little steam.
Can I get a Hallelujah?!!
Admittedly, the game was far from perfection. As I mentioned previously, Xolo’s stepped onto the pitch without that customary spark that has characterized its gameplay during the last decade, making the equipo fronterizo an uncomfortable visitor on any pitch outside Tijuana.
Without being spectacular, the Red and White’s did what they needed to do and even showed instances of brilliance as it transitioned up and down the pitch. Lines were tighter, runs were being made properly and Chivas became dangerous in its incessant offensive push in search of the win.
Fortunately for the cause, we were able to seal the deal with two magnificent goals, Vegas’ beautifully placed on the run shot from outside the box. Followed by a poem. Un poema de gol! A magnificent triangulation which started with a precise long ball from Sergio Flores to Cone down the right side, who filtered a precise pass to Oribe in the inner box, who in turn left a “bon-bon” with a soft right-footed pass to Angulo, who after a cat-like cut to the left smashed the ball into the net. Game over.
From the get-go, Chivas took control of the game. Statistically, the Red and Whites dominated in every area. Twenty-four shots on goal, with ten on target and two in the net. The Kings share of possession at Fifty-eight percent and a passing accuracy percentile hovering at eighty-seven, that’s three hundred eighty-nine passes that found their destination. Impressive.
Again, the rival was half-dead before the game even started, and perhaps not the best to use as a measuring stick for the remaining challenges to be faced by our beloved Rebaño. Still, the War-Goats were able to come away with a solid W in the first of four kill or be killed matches remaining in the season. Come Wednesday, match two against the always favorite Rayados de Monterrey, the ante-sala for match-three Atlas – Chivas Derby, and finally closing at home against the Tired but always dangerous Ferretti Tigres.
Prediction? Unpredictable!!! I am still recoiling from the hellishness of this season. My heart of hearts says the Red and White will be in the post-season. We need a combo of factors, all of them based on our own performance.
The Doomsayers and Talking-Heads have already counted us out and are hoping that we won’t be able to rise up. Some of them por mala sangre others for hidden agendas in search for the hueso. What else is new?
I say to the Chiva-Gray, the naysayers speak ill of us because they are afraid. And they should be. They saw the spark on Saturday and now they are afraid of the fire. All we need now is a little wind.