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The Never-Expected Final

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Many people are starting to call it the best final in the last years. “Not even the best Hollywood film writer would have created such a dramatic and intense final”, something said by a lot of analysts. It was May 26, 2013. A rain night in Mexico City, and the environment was just as everyone expected. The pressure of the people because they wanted their team to win. On some parts of the stadium sat few fans from the visiting team. Hoping their team doesn’t let go another try to become the champion of the league. This is the final of the Mexican soccer league between FC America and Cruz Azul (Blue Cross).
On May 23, 2013, these two teams faced each other in the first game of the final. Each of the two left other teams with great players behind and with the desire to lift up the cup. But now it was between the two teams from Mexico City to create an exciting, thrilling final matchup.
Cruz Azul has had great and bad moments in their history. Their main colors are blue and white. Known for being the best Mexican team in the decade of the 1970’s, Cruz Azul has been able to achieve 8 championships. But they’ve only won one cup since 1997. This was the MX cup 3 months ago. They haven’t won the league cup since. Their obligation was to finally win the league championship after almost sixteen years. Knowing that they had lost nine finals in a row, a tenth one would be disastrous.
FC America, called by many “The Real Madrid of America”, “The Millionaires”, “The Eagles”, or simply just America. America is considered by the majority of the Mexican reporters as the biggest team in all Mexico. With one of Mexico’s richest men as the complete owner of the team, America came to this game as the favored. With ten championships backing them up, the last one won in 2005, they also had the desire to win, and to get revenge. Before the final of the MX Cup, America had lost against Cruz Azul in the semifinals by way of penalties. It was the perfect place to match up again and prove who was the best.
With Cruz Azul up by one goal because of the first game at their stadium, America needed at least two to win. One would put them in overtime with them. Players as well as the head coaches gathered in the locker rooms to huddle with the teams. The crowd out in the Aztec stadium was ready to see an encounter of two tremendous teams.
With the night fallen over the Aztec stadium, and the rain dropping on everyone inside it, the game started. Everything was going just as the analysts said it would be. America was trying to score a fast goal so that they had enough time in order to look for a second one. These plans changed at the point when a red card was given to the center mid of America. People started screaming at the referee, some of America’s players put their heads down, others tried to keep their spirit up, and intending to do the same with the rest. It was a foul that even today any former ref could say that it should have only been a yellow card. The game continued. America still was trying to look for the first goal with ten players. And all of a sudden from a counter attack came a goal from Cruz Azul. It seemed as if everything was against America. They had one player less, the rain made it harder to play, and now another goal to worry about. The first half was definitely to forget about for them.
A second half with everything against them started for America. And again from counter attacks came the offensive plays from Cruz Azul, but thanks to their goalie the score stayed 2-0 overall. Time was running out, everything seemed finished with only six minutes left. The narrators of the game were starting to call Cruz Azul the new champion. Out of know where America scored a goal at minute 88 of the game from a header. The player that scored tried to encourage everybody to keep trying and gave hand signals to all the 110,000 fans to keep supporting them. Minute 90 came, then the extra time for the lost minutes. It seemed like a false alarm for America when two of the three minutes were over. Then a corner kick came. The president of FC America was giving out directions from one corner of the field, like a second coach. The goalie decided to go and try a header along with everybody. The player centered the ball; it went directly to the goalie. The goalie scored a goal at the last minute by a header. The whole stadium was roaring. It seemed as if the whole ground was shaking. It was incredible. Something that you could only believe if you saw it with your own eyes. Thanks to Moises Munoz, the goalie, America would be going to overtime.
While each of the fans in the stadium were still yelling because of the intense game they had in front of their eyes, some of the players were stretching to prevent cramps. Overtime began, and both teams were exhausted. The extra time was a repeated moment of when America kept on attacking Cuz Azul, but sometimes without thinking of the consequences of sending everyone forward. Nothing in particular with importance occurred during the two 15 minute halves of overtime. It was time for penalties.
Cruz Azul won the coin toss for the first penalty. It was 25 year old, Javier Orozco up for the first penalty. He was set, Munoz was also. The referee blew his whistle. Fail! Munoz stopped it with his left leg. Now it was the young Raul Jimenez up to the matchup with Cruz Azul’s goalie. Jimenez was the superstar of the moment with only 21 years of age and already the starter forward in America. He changed from left to right profile, the ball went in. 1-0 so far. Next was Alejandro Castro, a defense from Cruz Azul. He charged to the ball. He suddenly slipped because of the rain, and it caused his shot to go over the crossbar. It was the turn of Christian Benitez now. An Ecuadorian forward that was the league leading scorer three seasons in a row. The whistle blew. In! 2-0 so far. Rodger Chavez was next for Cruz Azul’s men. He ran straight up to the ball. He scored. America’s #10 was next, Oswaldo Martinez. A Paraguayan player. He ran straight at the ball as well. And he slammed the ball in with a very hard kick. Jerry Flores had his turn with Cruz Azul now. It was awkward for Cruz Azul to put three defensive players to shoot penalties. But fortunately for Flores and his team, he actually scored. Now, it was the penalty that decided it all. It was Miguel Layun’s turn to step up against Jose Corona, Cruz Azul’s goalie. Layun was a player that was criticized since his arrival to the team in 2010. They even made a hashtag on Twitter of him that said “#everythingislayun’sfault”. But the truth was that he had improved a lot since his first season with America. It was time for him to prove to everyone that he had what it took to be in CF America. The ref once again blew his whistle. Layun ran to the ball, he kicked it. While he kicked it, there was some sort of slip due to the rain. Corona managed to touch the ball, but wasn’t capable of completely stopping it. America was the new champion of the MX League.
It was incredible how in six minutes America managed to change the whole game. With no doubt, it is something that the fans of America will never forget. Each of America’s players, head coaches, and medical assistants got a gold medal. While for Cruz Azul it was another silver medal for everyone. Another second place trophy to add to their history, and another year without winning first place for Cruz Azul.
Personally, me, being a fan of CF America since my toddler years, I can say that I am proud of what my team demonstrated that rainy night in Mexico City. There’s no doubt that it will stay in history for being such an intense matchup between two of the best teams in the league. As I said before, not even the best film writer from Hollywood could have designed such a story like this one. And as an America fan, I will be with the team in the good times, and bad times. We are what everyone else wants to be. We are the Eagles.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

rucu said...
Jun. 11, 2013 at 5:06 pm:
Go Ecuador! Like the way you described players from different countries.
 
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Ivan_DC said...
Jun. 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm:
The paragraphs are too close to each other. I should have spread them out more. You can notice when a new paragraph starts though.
 
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