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TRVMP
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You could cut the atmosphere with a knife

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(In fairness there's maybe 1,700-1,800 Guatemala fans in this stand, mostly having coalesced into something resembling an 'ultras' scene in the corner, and they're in decent voice. I'd say maybe 300-400 Trinis, who are so far comporting themselves like they're at a funeral.)

I fancy Guatemala to pull off an upset based on what I've seen so far. T&T have been utterly rotten this tournament. 

Moises Hernandez got the biggest cheer as the "home" team got read out. He spent many years here at FC Dallas, local lad from the South Dallas barrio. Was very solid for FCD, now plays for Antigua in his parents' homeland.

A disappointing number of Guatemalans in the stands are wearing club jerseys. A three-way split between Comu, Municipal, and Antigua. 

Kickaff. Here we gooooooo! 

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Shows what I know. After dominating possession, Guatemala give it up on their left wing, then it's a simple but well-executed counter by the Trinis. It's an easy ball squared across goal by Jones for the unmarked Reon Moore to side-foot it past Navarro for the opener. 

One of the funny aspects of this tournament has been that, since the US and the Latin countries have, let's say, slightly differing attitudes towards yelling abuse from the stands, the Mexican team have had to literally go on the pitch with a microphone and beg their fans to stop shouting 'puto!' every ten seconds. No such concerns here among the Guatemala support. 

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T&T got complacent and took off their out-ball and some of their more able defenders. After squandering a good counter and a free header, Guate finally equalize. "Si se puede" rings out from the stands - well, stand. It was a well-taken finish from Gerardo Gordillo - playing in Peru for UT Cajamarca - but it was all about that dangerous in swinger from Marvin Ceballos. 

Attendance announced as 4,600ish. Aye, right. Maybe tickets sold, sure, but in real life it's about half that. The Guatemalan fans are making a hell of a racket. The T&T fans barely roused themselves for their goal. 

It would not surprise me in the least if Guatemala stole it at the death. T&T are clearly superior in technique and structure but they've played the game at walking pace - understandably, as it's a dead rubber, but still it's come back to haunt them. 

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Guate did, in fact, not steal it at the death. But I did break my personal best for parking lot to home by over one minute - and there's eff all the traffic cops did to stop me.

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Posted (edited)

Mind that Van Basten goal where he scored from an acute angle for the Dutch? I reckon we just saw one from an even tighter angle. Look up the Juárez-Toluca highlights and the equalizer in the 36th minute from Martín Galván. It just went in there. Absolutely insane angle, unbelievable. 

I almost turned this off and went to bed coz of the rain delay but that was worth staying up for.

edit: Toluca, who took the lead very early on, still win 3-1 in the end in what was an otherwise very poor game, but that goal was absolutely incredible.

Edited by TRVMP

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  • 2 weeks later...

If anyone's awake and wanting a bet, Diriangen are absolutely battering Marathon in the CONCACAF Champions League. Goalless after 10 minutes but it's only a matter of time.

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Posted (edited)

Shows what I fuckin' know. Marathon take the lead 4 minutes into the second half, easy as you like, free kick in from wide missed by everyone and heeled in in the middle of the box.

Diriangen must be absolutely kicking themselves, they've been well on top.

Edited by TRVMP

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Marathon hold on for the win. Diriangen had by far the best of it but tired in the second half and after the hour mark never looked like scoring. The Hondurans will surely play better back in Sap and finish the job there. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Second leg of the quarter-final of the Libertadores tonight, just kicked off 8 minutes ago, for the right to face Palmeiras in the semis. Atletico Mineiro are 1-0 up from the first leg in BA and battering River so far. Great atmosphere.

In the other semi, Flamengo will face the winners of Fluminense and SC Barcelona, who drew 2-2 in the first leg. A realistic chance of an all-Brazil final four, then.

Edited by TRVMP

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3-0, it is over. Hulk got the second, Zaracho the third. Atletico haven't actually been that good this tournament but they are on fire tonight.

In the Brazilian top flight, CAM are top on 37 points from 16 games. Palmeiras have dropped away, winless in three, and are second with 32. But Palmeiras looked great last night. Anything can happen in the semi.

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  • 1 month later...

Watching the Clásico Tapatío, Chivas de Guadalajara against Atlas. Atlas are very much the little brother of the derby here - hard to think of an analogy. Chivas are the second-biggest club in the country, Atlas a bit of a footnote. Maybe Juventus-Torino, only Torino are a bigger club comparatively than Atlas. But they're both old clubs and this is one of the bigger local derbies of Mexico. Mexico is one of the countries, like France, where the biggest rivalries are between different cities, not local. Chivas fans will always see Club América as their biggest and most important foes. Atlas are a bit of an afterthought... well, not tonight, and here's why:

Anyway, Chivas got a man sent off just before I switched on in the 15th minute. Then Atlas got an unrelated penalty. It was a cheeky little chip of a spot-kick, Atlas celebrate in front of the home fans... and Cristian Calderón runs up and shoves the scorer, Aldo Rocha, onto the deck. The lineswoman was sprinting onto the pitch to try to intervene but it was too late, down he went, and that was a second booking for Calderón, and now Chivas are down to nine men with almost an hour to go. It's even more crazy because Calderón is an Atlas youth product and spent many years there.

There'll be more cards to go. The question is, can Atlas continue their fairytale run? They're top of the Apertura right now. They last won the Mexican league in... 1951, narrowly missing out in 1999 (penalty kicks, in fact, in a final with Toluca) but otherwise they've barely come close.

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Posted (edited)

Note sure if it's social distancing or what but it's an absolutely terrible crowd, incidentally. The Estadio Jalisco, which both teams share, is a wonderful new facility. I'd guess it's less than half full. I know Chivas are rotten this season but even so, very poor turnout.

Edit: Apparently it is 50% capacity. Well, it looks a wee bit less.

Edited by TRVMP

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About to watch Zambia-Equatorial Guinea. (Having a normal one.) The Zambia anthem started for about two seconds then cut off. The players are all still standing there, hands on heart. Except the 'keeper, who's looking around and shrugging. Now a bunch of them have also moved their hands.  Two guys at the far left holding out. One of them might actually be a statue. Ah, there we go, the anthem's back. Refreshingly tinpot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Partial stadium collapse on Sunday at my old stomping ground, De Gofferstadion in Nijmegen. A concrete section of terracing gave way when visiting Vitessse fans were doing the 'bouncy' at the end of the game. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured. It was completely rebuild around 1999, so it has been closed for the foreseeable future while they investigate the cause and perform structural checks on the whole stadium. You can actually see the concrete bending as they bounced up and down, just before it collapses. This is the 2nd major stadium failure on relatively recently rebuilt stadiums in the Netherlands in the last couple of years, in 2019 a large section of the roof on AZ's stadium collapsed, fortunately it was empty at the time. Weird this should happen twice in a country with high building standard regulations.  

 

Edited by Cet Homme Charmant
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