FC Juarez Ties 1-1 Versus Pumas, Against All Odds
In what many fans and local media members are calling the best performance this team has had in first division, FC Juarez played Pumas to a 1-1 draw Sunday in Mexico City. The match turned more controversial with every passing minute right down to the final whistle all thanks to center referee, Oscar Macias Romo, who was without a doubt the biggest protagonist of this match. Still the draw gives the Bravos 5 points after 3 matches (1 win, 2 draws, 0 loses), they are still undefeated and in 6th place in the standings table.
FC Juarez played with one man down due to direct red card since the 8th minute of the match, then played with two men down since the 42nd minute due to another direct card, just before the first half ended. Both red cards were highly controversial and the VAR (Video Assistant Referee/instant replay) was no help in verifying anything either way.
The first card was given to Eryc Castillo for an aggressive challenge on the flank that could be called circumstantial contact.
The second red card was given to Javier Nevarez on a tackle to break up a fast break. However the player for Pumas was called offsides by the linesman and center referee Romo did not acknowledge the call that would have nullified Nevarez’s tackle. The VAR system was not able to provide a clear view that the Pumas forward wasn’t offsides still Romo didn’t acknowledge it and gave Nevarez the red card.
Despite the numerical advantage the teams would go into the locker room tied 0-0. Nine minutes into the second half, Oscar Romo would add to his controversial performance when he would call a penalty kick against the Bravos on phantom contact between Juarez goalkeeper Ivan Vasquez Mellado and a Pumas forward. The PK would be taken by Gabriel Gonzalez, getting it past Mellado for the 1-0 lead.
The team from the Borderland would not give in to the numerical advantage that Pumas had on them. They would trying and somehow create offensive threats and make the most of them. The fight, grit and mindset paid off when a direct kick was called in their favor in the 64th minute. Maxi Olivera would take his left footed strike from well over 25 yards out that would just slip past the right post. Pumas goalkeeper, Alfredo Talavera, was fully stretched in his dive and could not get there in time.
However Romo’s crusade against the team from the Borderland would not be over as he would call another penalty kick against the Bravos on a blatant dive by Sebastian Saucedo. This time VAR was able to show that it was a clear dive and the call would be overturned. The match would end moments later.
Head coach for FC Juarez, Gabriel Caballero was not available for post match conference as his skipped the mandatory press conference after the game because the Bravos had a plane to catch. No word if Caballero will get fined for missing the post match protocol.
Up next for FC Juarez will be a midweek home match against Chivas de Guadalajara, Mexico’s most popular soccer team. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 6pm MST. It will be televised nationally on TUDN.