FC Juarez Loses Leg 1 of Finals Series to Atlante 1-0
Atlante defeated Bravos de FC Juarez last night by a score of 1-0 in the first leg of the 2015 Apertura Final in Cancun, Quintana Roo. The lone goal in the match came in the 45th minute of the contest seconds before the 1st half came to an end.
The goal was scored by Atlante forward Carlos Garces. Graces, the league leading goal scorer during the regular season with 11 goals, headed the ball in off of a direct kick that was taken from nearly midfield after a foul was called on FC Juarez.
The first half that had little to no energy, no rhythm and few chances on goal. The stoppages in play were more frequent than general making for unattractive first 45 minutes of play.
The goal at the end of the first half certainly spiced things up for the rest of the game. The second half saw the match being played more in the Bravos offensive third of the pitch, indicating that the team from the Borderland was closer to scoring the equalizer than the home team scoring a second goal...both literally and figuratively.
As this situation materialized more in FC Juarez's favor, the officiating job by referee Adalid Maganda deteriorated. A continued them for FC Juarez these playoffs. Referee's have been inconsistent in their performances with FC Juarez always seeming to fall on the wrong side of questionable or simply nonexistent fouls.
After the game FC Juarez head coach Sergio Orduna was calm but critical, “What can I say, we committed that mistake at the end of the first half, a long ball from 40 meters out on a direct kick from a foul that should have never taken place in that sector of th pitch. Now we return and must make our validate our home field advantage.”
Orduna continued, I'm aware that Atlante will go in, mostly defend and try to extend their advantage on a counterattack. The coin up in the air, things are far from over and we will work to be victorious at home in front of our fans. In the final analysis, the aggregate score in this series is currently against us, we gave away today's first half, I didn't like anything about our performance in those 45 minutes and now we will have to wait and see what happens in Cd. Juarez.”
The team from the Borderland must win by a one goal difference in the final aggregate score come Saturday to win the title. If the aggregate score is tied come the end of the match on Saturday (i.e. Bravos wins the match on Saturday 1-0) the teams will go into overtime and a penalty kick shootout if necessary as no tiebreakers exist in the finals. The 2nd leg match will take place at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium Saturday at 4pm. The game sold out in less than 36 hours.
The team will leave Cancun, Quintana Roo at 10:30am this morning, stop in Mexico City before landing in the Borderland at 6 pm local time. From the airport, the team will travel directly to the team hotel to rest and have a training session Friday in the afternoon or early evening, presumably behind closed door with no media access.