FC Juarez defeated Club America last Saturday by a score of 3-1. This is a historic win for the club as it is still in its inaugural year in Liga MX play.
This match was plagued by questionable decisions made by the head referee. Nonetheless, this does not take away from the fact that Los Bravos played their brand of football and secured three points that taste like heaven. FC Juarez repeated the same lineup that was victorious against Monarcas the past Jornada. The only difference was Flavio Santos being subbed off due to injury with William Mendieta seeing the most action he’s seen since arriving in Los Bravos. Gabriel Caballero stuck to his same gameplan that included a high press with Dario Lezcano serving as a false nine waiting for Diego Rolan and Mauro Fernandez to join the attack. There are many positives to take away from this match as well as negatives. Let’s cover the main three things that we learned that transform, FC Juarez, into a dark horse candidate for a Liguilla spot in the Clausura 2020.
1. Gabriel Caballero has finally become a Liga MX coach
Following FC Juarez there were definite times when Caballero did not seem equipped with the qualities to remain at the helm of the club. This has definitely changed. Gabriel Caballero has evolved as a coach. At the end of Apertura 2019, there seemed to be a tactical change in FC Juarez. We saw a distancing from the tactics of Ascenso and witnessed the fruits of the evolution of Gabriel Caballero at the Azteca last Saturday. There also seems to be a change in demeanor in Caballero. He is much more animated on the touchline, always reminding his players to press the opposing defense. This change of Caballero is important to the development of Juarez as a Liga MX team. It seems like he has arrived as a Liga MX coach. Now its time for him to show us he can do it consistently.
2. Jefferson Intriago is the glue that holds FC Juarez together
As mentioned last week after the Monarcas game, Jefferson Intriago is one of the most important players on FC Juarez. After this last Saturday’s victory, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that he is THE most important player for Los Bravos. His ability to interchange from holding midfielder to attacking midfielder is exquisite. Intriago’s attacking ability should also not be taken for granted. He provided an assist for Los Bravos in the second goal that was tapped in by Dario Lezcano. He is the sole purpose of why Juarez was able to control the midfield against America. He is the main reason for Los Bravos’ early-season success. Like a conductor in front of his symphony, FC Juarez does not function if Intriago is not there to conduct.
3. Diego Rolan and Dario Lezcano have become the most underrated attacking duo in Liga MX
Diego Rolan and Dario Lezcano had America’s defense in shambles. While one covered the ball another ran behind the defense. The countless movements made by these two extraordinary players are the reason why Juarez was able to dominate in the first half. It is also important to note that Liga MX teams have become aware of the power of this duo. Rolan is consistently receiving two men to mark him anytime he touches the ball on the wing and Lezcano is not allowed to turn since center-backs are placing immediate pressure on him as soon as he receives the ball. These two players are the future for FC Juarez if they want to qualify for a Liguilla spot. If they maintain this form it is safe to consider FC Juarez a dark horse candidate for Liguilla contention.