“I haven't had a drink in 13 years, but occasionally I'm tempted to have 1 beer. The problem is that if I have that 1 beer, I wake up in Tijuana 4 days later with a tattoo”.
– Craig Ferguson
There is an inexplicable energy which smolders in towns which divide the land between 2 countries. It’s like a forcefield which surrounds the clusters of human habitations and gives them a type of super natural luster. A dark shine which, while not exactly negative, creates a feeling of discomfort, of not belonging for those who set foot in those border towns.
Tijuana is no exception, actually, it’s the rule followed by all other towns sitting on the US - Mexico divide. Since its inception, the town has been a place for outlaws and smugglers to spend a moment in contemplation. A moment to absorb the energy of the Sun which incessantly falls upon the oasis it has become. A place of passage in more ways than one. It is not just a crossing point. It is a place in constant change. The Kumeyaay, the original inhabitants of the zone called it, Yiwan, “by the sea”. Now, it’s just Ti-Yei.
Chivas is going to “Tijuanear” next Sunday against the now not so old not so new Tijuas, los Xolos. On paper it looks accessible enough. But then again so did last Saturdays game against Mazatlan.
In truth we should have come away with at least a 3 or 4 goal margin, especially playing against a team with one player less. Our shots were off target, but the truth of the matter is that the game’s course changed after the sending off of the Mazatleco player. Chivas was again showing signs of controlling the ebb and flow of the game, precise long balls changing the line of attack from one side of the pitch to the other. BTW, the redirecting of the offensive push with long balls from side to side is something which I had not seen in Guadalajara since the days of Ramon Morales and El Venado Medina. I welcome it. If you really want to destabilize a well set defense that’s the way to do it.
Anyway, el Rebaño Sagrado shot more, had more shots on target, more possession, more passes, more passing precision and more corners. They dominated the game after the expulsion but imprecise passing, lack of precision when shooting on target and just sheer determination on behalf of the Mazatleco line of defense left a peculiar sensation after the final whistle. Something was missing.
Still 3 points are 3 points especially at this point in the tournament. The homestretch has never been so tight as it is today. Chivas stands in 7th place, followed closely by Monterrey, and just 4 points away from the 9th and 10th seeds. Repechaje postion. With 5 games still in play to scramble up the league standings, 2 very winnable, versus Xolos and the Zorros, and the other 3 extremely challenging versus Cruz Azul, Pumas, and Monterrey, Guadalajara needs to batten down the hatches and get their game on.
After 17 days without playing, the Xolos are ready to reappear today against FC Juarez. An outbreak of Covid within the team forced them to postpone 2 of their Guard1anes 2020 matches, against Bravos and Santos. 30 people were registered as positive for the new Coronavirus among players, coaching staff and staff, as some of them tested negative and were able to return to their activities.
Although it is not official yet how many were recovered, Social Media and major network talking heads mention that los Tijuanenses will have to complete their roster with a significant number of players from the Under 20 squad.
Still, even without the pandemic, Xolos is coming off their worst start ever. Currently 16th place with 3 wins, 1 draw and 6 losses, with 2 games less, their goal production is low, having barely scored 8 goals and receiving 16. The future looks bleak for the border team but if they are able to win today and at least win or tie their 2 remaining games, they just might be able to squeeze under the wire.
Whatever happens in TJ is basically in our hands. Hopefully, the boys will be able to take advantage of the border teams mishaps and come back with a win from a stadium which has consistently been a tough bone to crack for El Rebaño. Let’s hope that whatever happens in Tijuana won’t stay in Tijuana and we will come back with 3 golden points in our coffers.