Jaguares de Chiapas were the cause of a major upset over the weekend with their tremendous win against UNAM Pumas, who are the league leaders. The team's next task is to face Brazil's giant, Internacional at the Victor Manuel Reyna in Copa Libertadores.
Jaguares is currently last place in the Clausura 2011, tied in points with the soon to be relegated Necaxa. Chiapas is a certain candidate to be fighting the relegation battle next season. That being said, they are as alive as you can be in the Libertadores and have a legitimate chance of advancing past the group stage.
On Wednesday they will be hoping to reverse the damage done in Brazil by Internacional. Being on their home turf will be an advantage but not an assurance and they must get a win in order to position themselves for a knockout stage appearance. The task at hand is not an easy one, as they will be facing the current Copa Libertadores champions, group leaders, and the squad that sent them home with a 4-0 defeat the last time they met.
Internacional comes into this game undefeated in the Libertadores. In the first four games they have managed to win three matches and only draw one. To go along with this impressive pace, they have only allowed two goals in the competition, a +10 in the goal difference statistics. Top it all off with the previously mentioned 4-0 they served Jaguares in their first Libertadores encounter, which will be nothing short of a confidence booster coming into the match.
Compared to the Brazilians, the Mexican squad has won two and lost two in the first four matches. Even with a goal record of -2, it has been enough to keep them alive with six points. Jaguares are only one point behind second place team Emelec, and with their last last game approaching against Wilstermann whom has not earned one single point in the tournament.
A win could give them nine points and when combined with results from the other group match, Jaguares could see themselves in second place with only one game to go in the group stage and it would all be set with Chiapas solely depending on themselves. But if a loss is the end result and when combined with results from the other group match, Chiapas could also be at the other end of the spectrum and be forced to say goodbye to the tournament, much like their home league aspirations.
All ingredients are in place for what should be a thrilling game, with one team being in a life or death situation while the other reflects a completely opposite position. Internacional could leave with a loss and still be first place before facing Wilstermann in the last group match.
For Jaguares, the situation could be worse, after all this is a team that is sitting in last place in their home league and that has a negative goal record in the competition. The only problem might be that in order to make this happen they must get past Andres D'Alessandro and company.