Jaguares de Chiapas were founded less than ten years ago. In their near decade of existence, they’ve taken some steps, but have yet to take that giant leap. They have a chance to do just that.
It seems strange that the team that finished dead last in the Clausura has a chance to make history, but there they are, among the last 8 of the Copa Libertadores – the only remaining Mexican team. They advanced on the ever popular away goals tie-breaker after getting a 3-3 tie at Atletico Junior de Barranquilla last night (4-4 aggregate).
It was easily the biggest win for the fledgling team, and it should be a cause for celebration. But all the talk in the selva chaipaneca and other outposts has to do with the ugly spat between Chiapas goalkeeper, Jorge Villalpando and his coach, Guadalupe Cruz. Villalpando committed not one, but two gross errors (I believe the kids call'em howlers) on two of Junior’s goals. After the second, Cruz had enough and subbed him out. The ousted keeper then charged at his coach and had to be restrained by the coaching staff. See for yourself.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqL1eDmvffw"]Jaguares vs Junior[/ame]
We’ll get to the rest of the story after this….
The score was 3-2 when Villalpando was subbed out. He didn't gain any sympathy from fans when the telecast had shots of him smiling and laughing on the sidelines either. Then Chiapas lost their best player when Jackson Martinez went a little crazy and was red carded for his outburst.
Better luck next time.
Edgar Andrade, though, sent a screamer to a top corner to tie the game 4 minutes from time and send Jaguares through. They face Cerro Porteño next in what will be the biggest fixture in team history.
Any bets on whether Villalpando mans the nets? On one hand, what good did it do the team by subbing him out? They needed a goal and Cruz essentially burned a sub because he was pissed at his goalie. But, if another outfield player keeps making mistakes and gets subbed out, no one complains, right?
To his credit, Cruz said after the game that he understood his keeper’s reaction and any and all issues will be resolved internally. The same can’t be said about Jackson Martinez, who will miss the next match.
Jaguares will be in the relegation mess next year, but none of that matters now. Every game they play from here on, whether it is 2, 4, or 6 will be the biggest in their history.