What a fun game for an indifferent Pumas fan. So let’s begin.
The game starts out very well for Chivas. The showed heart and hustle as an obvious underdog, battling relegation. It is a sign of a good attitude in the locker room to motivate a team that has been struggling, to step it up against their greatest rival. Who knows if it was Almeyda or Captian Omar Bravo who motivated them, but they came out with energy and on the attack. Even amidst negativity in the media, gossip about Gullit drinking, and relegation. In times like this, a team can come out half hearted or beaten before the game begins, or battle back as an underdog. Chivas came out as the latter.
Chivas attacking paid off and Conejo Brizuela got a goal in the 23rd minute, however it was called off. There was no dispute that he was offsides and that the goal should not have counted. The problem is with the side line ref, in that he hesitated to make the call and had to meet with the head ref to talk and call back the goal after the fact. This can play an issue in the mind of the Chivas players. The goal was scored, a whistle was not blown and Brizuela celebrated with his teammates as he pointed to the heavens. It is a glorious moment to have scored against your arch enemy. Then imagine how Brizuela and Chivas feel after it is ripped away from them. It has to be saddening and depressing. Again Chivas would have to dig deep and self motivate their mind and body to continue playing. This seemed to be the case, but you could tell there was a drop in play. America gained their composure and was able to get more possession and opportunities for attack.
We now know America scored 2 great goals, to take a commanding lead. This again can put a psychological burden on a down and out Chivas team. They still, however, battled and did not give up. They were running on pure passion.
So let’s talk passion. Passion is what brings fans to the stadium. Passion and love for their teams is what makes people yell, cheer and be loyal even through hard times. The deep desire to win is what motivates Chivas or America players to run hard after a ball. And Yes, sadly it can motivate fans to throw obscenities and even objects at the opposing team. It is no surprise to see this happen. Yes it is ugly, but these fans have passion. It may not be properly focused but it is passion. It is this same passion that would make Santos fans insult the Mexican NT hero Giovanni Dos Santos. Even a Chivas fan who threw a cup of beer at CONCACAF Cup hero Paul Aguilar and hit him in the back.
This passion even exists for players to do whatever it takes to win or get an advantage. Paul Aguilar has passion in the instances where he gets stomped on in the corner and proceeds to flop around like Pikolin did in last year’s Liguilla. His goal was fulfilled as the Chivas player got red carded and America took the advantage. He did the same later, when the cup of beer hit his back and he rolled around some more. He want’s to win and this is the type of things that sometimes needs to be done. Is it hated, yes, but it will continue to happen. Just like beers will continue to fly, so lets get over it.
Finally, to touch on a word that is commonly used in spanish, Ardido. This means rustled, upset, salty or many other adjectives that could be used to describe Omar Bravo near the end of the game. You could tell he was frustrated and in one instance he got hacked, fell to the ground and the America player got sent off. He then proceeds to run away and heads straight to Sambueza and hits him chest to chest. This was of course purposefully done as he was heated in the moment. Luckily he did not get carded himself, because he was carrying a yellow previously. This “rustle” on the part of Omar Bravo could have cost him the concentration and cool head he needed in later opportunities he had to score, but failed.
So the mind, emotions can play a huge part in Futbol. This type of passion, energy and competitiveness is what makes this Clasico the best in Mexico. Yes even greater than the Clasico Regio, which may have better teams that are higher on the table, the Clasico Nacional has more on the line, for fans and players.