Bravos de FC Juarez is preparing tonight for a huge mid-week home match against perennial power Club America. Rather than come into this game riding momentum from their first win of the season, the club settled for a 1-1 draw at home last Friday night against Xolos de Tijuana. The Bravos played with a one man advantage for the last 30 minutes of the match after Yonatthan Rak was sent off after he received a second yellow card, still the home team could not put the ball in the back of the net to get the victory.

Things got off to a quick start Friday night at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium. Jose Juan Garcia received a yellow card in the fifth minute for the Bravos because of an aggressive slide on an opposing Tijuana player.

FC Juarez.

Three minutes later Tijuana took the 1-0 lead when Lucas Rodriguez attempted to cross the ball from the left flank. What was an obvious and blatant attempted pass found the upper right corner of the goal, hit the right post, just underneath the crossbar and went in. Goalkeeper for FC Juarez, Hugo Gonzalez, was frozen. He simply did not move thinking, as did everyone in the stadium, that the ball was going to go out of bounds. The sudden change in trajectory mid-flight caught everyone by surprise most of all Gonzalez..

One of the luckiest shots I have seen in several years. Rodriguez could attempt that “shot” 100 times and would not make it again.

The Bravos did not let the early goal phase them. They quickly regrouped and started going about their execution, gradually improving and dominating the opposition with every passing minute.

That persistence paid off as the Bravos were able to get the equalizer in stoppage time via a penalty kick. Gabriel Mathias Fernanez would put the ball in the back of the net with a potent shot right down the middle as the opposing goalkeeper dove to his right.

FC Juarez.

The second half started with the Bravos continuing where they left off, being the better team on the field of play. That turned into total and complete dominance when Rak was sent off for his second yellow in the 63rd minute.

However, that would not be enough as the team from the Borderland failed to get the match-winning goal.

In his post match conference Bravos head coach, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti, said that he needed a team, not heroes. He said he saw too many players trying to take matters into their own hands to get the game winning goal, instead of attempting to accomplish this as a team.

As for the goal that was received that could easily be labeled as lucky for Tijuana, Ferretti was not having any of that. Ferretti said, “Obviously it’s always good to have luck on your side. To say that we were unlucky on that goal that they scored, I could see that. But moreso, I believe that good luck in a soccer game comes from executing properly on the field of play, and in that aspect we still have quite a bit of improving to do.”

“Today one of their players attempted an obvious cross that ended up being a goal. You can say we were unlucky but you have to analyze what happened or what led to that opportunity for the player to cross the ball that led to the goal.”

FC Juarez.

Unlucky or not, the Bravos will have to put this disappointing loss in their rear view mirror as the turnaround will have to be a quick one as the Bravos will host Club America in a midweek match tonight.

That match is scheduled to kickoff at 8pm MST and will be televised nationally on TUDN and on network television on Univision as well.

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