FC Juarez Wins First-Ever Match 1-0
Three years and seven months after professional soccer ceased to exist in the Borderland, the passion and party has returned -- and it was one heck of a welcome back party. There were 16,200 people on-hand to witness FC Juarez win its first-ever official match on Saturday night at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium.
“Los Bravos” de FC Juarez defeated Lobos BUAP 1-0. The lone goal came in the 58th minute when the referee called a penalty kick in favor of the local side. Edgar Pacheco took on the responsibility to give the team from the Borderland the lead at that point. From there, FC Juarez was able to hold off the visiting team for the remainder of the second half.
FC Juarez deserved their victory Saturday night. They dominated from the 25th minute on, and only grew stronger until the final whistle blew. The Bravos' performance made it difficult to believe that this is only their fifth game playing as a team.
This team only had four preseason games before their season opener. Head Coach Sergio Orduna commented after the game that typically a team will have up to seven preseason games. Despite that, all three lines (offensive, midfield and defensive) functioned well as a unit.
Yes, a little more communication and instinctual play and reaction is needed, especially in the offensive one-third of the pitch -- but those things will come. For now, three points they've acquired so far, especially at home, are what matter.
This team will only continue to work and get better -- and they have to.
FC Juarez drew a tough first three games in this 2015 Apertura season. They defeated a Lobos BUAP team on Saturday that finished in third place last year. This coming weekend, the team from the Borderland will travel and face Zacatecas, which is always a tough road trip, because the team will still have a two-hour long bus ride after they land in that region of Mexico. Oh, and Zacatecas finished runner-up last season.
In two weeks, FC Juarez will host Necaxa, who is a perpetual league contender.
As for the the atmosphere of the first home game? Well, it's the perfect example of what pure joy looks like. The sights and sounds that everyone used -- those who lived and died with CF Indios -- were present. The usual fans sitting in the same sections, the two supporting fan clubs, Los Hijos de la Penumbra and El Kartel, where loud and boisterous for the entire 90 minutes. It was like they had been present every other Saturday without fail since 2010.
How big of a deal was this, you ask? Big enough to get the attention of El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and MountainStar Sports Group partner Josh Hunt. They were both in attendance. Something tells me that with what they saw on Saturday night, they will be of the opinion that the sky is the limit with this venture -- something that will only benefit the Borderland on both sides of the border.