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Avilés Hurtado celebrated his goal vs. Rayados... So what?

The Colombian forward’s goal celebration wasn’t appreciated by Rayados players and fans.

Monterrey v Pachuca - Playoffs Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

After scoring the second leg’s only goal on Sunday night at the 90th + 5 minute to clinch a 6-2 semifinal aggregate series victory for his club, ex-Rayados forward Avilés Hurtado - like any other player would - ran to celebrate the score with his teammates, despite both teams’ fates having already been decided. In what was the “final dagger” goal, Hurtado and Pachuca in general rightfully celebrated not just the score, but their all around excellent performance, having kept a high class offense in check throughout the entire match, as well as silencing a very loud and difficult crowd.

Hurtado’s score came via a penalty kick and was executed brilliantly; a high-powered, rising shot that Andrada wouldn’t of stopped even if he’d guessed the correct side. The Colombian then ran toward his right as he met the rest of his teammates, stood still for a few seconds, and then proceded to dance joyfully alongside the rest of the Pachuca players gathered ‘round.

So, can you tell exactly what he did wrong? Well, as the rules clearly state, you aren’t allowed to dance in celebration as an away team, you can only do it on your home pitch. JUST KIDDING. IT’S A JOKE. Just in case that wasn’t clear.

That’s right. The correct answer is NOTHING. He did nothing wrong. He simply celebrated his score; in no way did he mock or taunt Rayados. But if he had, who cares? Players are free to do what they want when they score and can celebrate however they see fit, as long as their celebration doesn’t fall within a vulgar category of course.

It’s worth noting Rayados’ fanbase have had a beef with Hurtado ever since he missed a vital PK against Tigres in the second leg of the Apertura 2017 final which would’ve meant an aggregate score tie, ultimately gifting Tigres that championship. Since then, it was never a pretty relationship between the fans and Hurtado again, leading to a steep decline in his production from there on, until his departure from the club in the summer of 2021.

Keeper Andrada and ex-teammates Montes and Funes Mori ran up to him in an aggressive manner, and according to Hurtado, called him “ungrateful,” as if he’d done something reprehensible or heinous. The fans also booed him and felt insulted for some reason. Incredibly enough, Hurtado had to point out he never even celebrated toward the fans, but rather did with his teammates as he always does.

And you know what? If after years of being booed and taking it from the Rayados fanbase, he would’ve decided to mock them, while I don’t agree with it, I couldn’t blame him either. But in this case, he didn’t just celebrate of the blue; he did it by beating them on the pitch, the way you should in sports. He has every right to celebrate.

Enough of these overly sensitive players and fans. The only thing this sounds like to me is sour grapes on the part of Rayados nation. Sore losers who can’t take the idea of having lost to a lower seeded team when they were expected to be champions, and nothing less. And to add to it, an ex-player scored the final goal to put you away. That’s the way sports are and it’s what makes them exciting; having the chance to stick it to a team and so forth. Enough with this political correctness on the pitch and in sports. Players have the right to celebrate when they’re the winners without the other team feeling disrespected, as they would do just the same if it was the other way around.

In the end, Avilés didn’t have to come out and apologize or clear anything up. Good for him if he got his “sports revenge” and was able to stick it to his ex-team. That’s the way professional sports work. It’s nothing personal. And that’s the way it’ll stay as long as we have pro sports. Congrats to Pachuca who were the better team this series and are deservedly in their second consecutive final. Hurtado and company will look to replicate their results against a tough Toluca squad and win the Liga MX title for the first time since 2016.