It sure wasn’t pretty, but despite facing the likes of a supposedly improved team in Atlético San Luis with the recent addition of Rubens Sambueza, to go along with other players such as keeper Marcelo Barovero and midfielder Javier Güemez, FC Juárez still managed to go into the Alfonso Lastras and do just enough, only to have won their second out of three matches so far this season. That’s alrerady half as many wins as they had all of last season.
After getting off to a rocky start to last season, grabbing their first win until Round 8, things looked much brighter from that point on, as Juárez won 4 out of 7, but more importantly, defeated clubs such as Cruz Azul, León, and Rayados. During the winter break, Ferretti added two key figures to the club so far in Cándido Ramírez and Brazilian MF Anderson Leite (scored last night’s game-winning goal).
Last night, in what was one of the worst first halves you’ll probably ever see, dominated by time-wasting, faked injuries, no quality approaches on goal, an ugly red-card foul, topped off by a missed penalty, ending in a scoreless draw at the half, Juárez found just enough of a beam of light in the second half with a childish hand-ball by Unai Bilbao in the 79th minute, giving them a penalty which Leite took full advantage of and sent into the top right corner. They eventually held on to the lead, and not only got the win, but got their first clean sheet of the season as well.
Now, it isn’t fair to judge Juárez’s style of play. In what is a group of players that come up way short talent-wise, there isn’t much you can demand from them other than to play as hungry as possible and come out with a win any way they can. And that’s what they’ve done thus far. In Round 1, they were hungrier than Necaxa on the pitch and did just enough to overcome them with an early goal in the second half, and then made the game ugly yesterday (with Atl. San Luis’ help, of course), which is just how they like it, and took the scoreless draw into the final stretch where they found their game-winner.
Say what you want, but Tuca Ferretti knows how to adjust and work with what he has and make a fighter out of his teams. While his current squad isn’t even a playoff contender, the fact he’s managed to lead them to a couple early victories within the season’s first three weeks speaks volumes to the work he and his staff have done with what they have so far. They’ve now come to within 5 points of Necaxa for the 15th overall spot in the relegation race, which is the first spot to avoid a relegation fine (16th - 18th pay a fine). And while we won’t be talking title run anytime soon in the border city, I do fully expect them to avoid that relegation fine.