“If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start…And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is”.
― Charles Bukowski (Factotum).
Los numeros no mienten. Club Santos has never been an easy nut to crack for Chivas. During the last decade the teams have played 21 games with a very marked difference in favor of the team from Torreon: 12 wins, 6 draws and 3 defeats. Strangely enough, 8 of those victories took place in Guadalajara. Another strange factoid is that when the teams have faced off in Torreon, Santos has only won 4 times, tied 5 and lost twice.
This Sunday, el Rebaño Sagrado will have another chance to balance the numbers. In fact one of the best chances they have had in a long time. Santos Laguna played 3 preseason games previous to its Guard1anes 2020 debut match.
They beat Mineros de Zacatecas 4-1 in their first friendly and rolled over Tampico Madero FC with a score of 4 nil. Unfortunately for them they closed their preseason with a 3-1 loss to Antonio Mohamed’s Monterrey. Still much more was expected of them in their Liga MX debut. The result was less than encouraging.
Cruz Azul easily defeated los Guerreros 2-0, not surprising, if we take into account that the Maquina Cementera is the team which most consider to have been the strongest candidate for league champ of the interrupted Clausura 2020.
As we all know Chivas and Leon faced off in the first round at Akron Stadium in Guadalajara, but were unable to cause much damage to one another. Most of the game was played in midfield and the few offensive opportunities were easily controlled by aggressive defense and opportune intervention by both Toño Rodriguez for el Rebaño Sagrado and Rodolfo Cota for the Panzas Verdes.
It’s obvious that both teams have high expectations for Sunday’s game. Looking at both Santos and Chivas recent results it looks to be a very balanced game.
The offensive line of the Rojiblancos looks dangerous every time JJ, Angulo and 'Cone' get a hold of the ball. The patched up midfield, which had been Guadalajara’s most stable line, performed well against Leon, ‘Gallito’ and Dieter using their experience to manage the defensive and offensive flow. Finally, defensively, the team has looked solid and confident having finally found a balance of experience and youth. Unfortunately, for Tena’s starting eleven, Chapo Sanchez is on rehab after a minor eye surgery, this added to those players on Covid recovery, might incline the balance in favor of Santos Laguna.
It all boils down to which team wants the victory the most. Game day two is the perfect time for Chivas to go all in and show that they are ready to take control of the Liga MX’s Guard1anes 2020 and start down the road in search the 13th star. Time for the good fight. There may be some truth in the proverb “all things come to those who wait” but I think our time is now. Time for Chivas to step up.