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Club América open up the Jardine era with a loss at home

With so many key players missing, America were just not able to hold on for the full 90 minutes and coughed it up to Juárez despite maintaining possession all night long.

America v FC Juarez - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

The Jardine era did not get off to a good start Friday night as Club América were defeated at home by FC Juárez thanks to two last minute goals. Now the Águilas will look to pick themselves up against a historically weak Querétaro on the road while Juárez welcome reigning champions Tigres.

América didn’t waste time when Jonathan dos Santos took the first shot of the game that led to nothing. They had another chance a few minutes later on a corner kick that also led to nothing as Alfredo Talavera cleared it. It took another six minutes for them to have another opportunity when Kevin Alvarez sent in a cross intended for Diego Valdes. Within the first 15 minutes, Juárez’s defense was attempting to hold on, and they did, until América finally broke them down with a goal.

The home team were awarded a free kick outside of the penalty area and Leo Suarez went straight to goal, getting it past Talavera to open the scoring in the Azteca. With so many absences, Suarez was a player that would need to step up and he did just that. It was only three minutes later when they had another chance to score with a Valdes shot that went wide. Up until this point, Juárez didn’t have a lot of opportunities. Their biggest threat came in the 25th minute when they were awarded a free kick that led to nothing. The visitors almost went down another goal in the 32nd minute when Valdes scored, but luckily for them, it was declared an offside. The remainder of the first half was spent with the Bravos having to defend attack after attack. They were able to defend well as the absences América had were noticed.

The second half was more of the same. América’s defense had done well in the back to that point and the frontline was creating chances, but couldn’t convert them. This would come back to haunt them later. Leo Suarez once again attempted for a goal, but it was defended well by the Bravos backline. Minutes later, Valdes attempted to get onto the scoresheet, but he couldn’t, and in the 58th minute, Brian Rodriguez didn’t capitalize on Juárez’s mistake in the backline to go up 2-0. Talavera accidentally gave the ball up to Rodriguez and instead of going for goal, attempted a pass to Valdes, but the ball went out for a harmless corner instead. The next 30 minutes were spent with América wasting multiple chances until the 85th minute, where Juárez made them regret their missed opportunities.

Aitor Garcia put the ball into the back of the net after a pass from Aviles Hurtado as the América defense fell asleep after the quick throw-in the visitors had. The defense falling asleep happened again a couple minutes later which gave the visitors the lead.

Thanks to a shot from Angel Zapata, the Bravos were able to take the lead and eventual win in stoppage time. However, his teammate Sebastian Perez Bouquet was a big help in the lead up to that goal. Perez Bouquet is on loan from Tapatío in the second division and is one of the youngsters to watch on the team. He did not disappoint in his debut in the first division and can become a vital player for the team. After that goal, there was no more time for América to look for a late equalizer and Juárez took the win at the Azteca. This marks the third consecutive loss at home for Club América (Atlético San Luis, Chivas, and now Juárez), where it’s unusual for them to lose considering the fortress the Azteca is thought as. Well, this wasn't the case for Juárez who took the win in the last minutes of the game to open up a season that is hopefully different than past ones.