Since futbol is an imprecise sport, mistakes are expected and occasionally tolerated. Not every pass is completed, there are planty of shots, but not all of them are on goal. For the outfield guys, it’s move on and get ready for the next play. But when keepers make howlers, well, those have more a few more lingering consequences. And if these howlers happen in knockout games like the liguilla… uugghh. Especially if it is your team that is afflicted.
There was not one, but two last night.
Chivas and Pumas finished their game on level terms. Again. For the umpteenth time in a row. For Pumas, it’s a good thing. They advance with a win or a tie on Sunday in CU.
Aside from the fact that the game was marred by ref who was beyond horrific (the only nice thing to say about Paul Delgadillo is that he was an equal opportunity offender), Pumas was on the verge of doing something they hadn’t done since a guy by the name of Bora Milutinovic was on the sideline: beat Chivas in Guadalajara.
Alas, in the 88th minute, Omar Arellano was gifted a goal when Alejandro “pikolin2” Palacios whiffed on his shot. Whiffed. Like a little league short stop.
To be fair to Pikolin2, the rest of his teammates had problems judging the unnatural bounces of the Omnilife sport turf. But it does not excuse him from not putting his body infront of the shot.
While Pikolin2 is in his first full season minding nets, Federico Vilar was been working on his craft for the better part of 10 years. The Argentine is in the top tier of keepers in the MFL and even earned a call-up to his national team. But he also dropped a free kick that hit him in the breadbox right in into the goal last night to give Cruz Azul an early lead over Morelia. Cruz Azul cruised to comfortable 2-0 win. Later in the 2nd half, the post spared him the embarrassment of a second howler.
Both ties are far from over. Chivas does not have the 30 year bugaboo at the Olimpico like Pumas has in la perla tapatia, but they will be without their captain, Hector Reynoso, who was one of the red card casualties at the Omnilife.
Maybe that is a good thing. His replacement, Kristian Alvarez, was a beast.
Morelia has the offensive pop to overcome a 2 goal deficit. Their problem, though, lies in their defense, which is awful. Cruz Azul missed chances to pad their lead, will they regret it?
Should be a fun Sunday, but let’s keep the howlers to a minimum.