After a poor showing in the Opening Stage I was hoping we'd up our game for this Closing Stage. Knowing we had tough opening games I wasn't expecting fireworks from the off, and it didn't with a 2-0 loss at the hands of Chivas. We then got a valuable point against Monterrey.
But the game I want to talk about is the game we recorded our biggest win ever
against Jaguares. Before the game I wasn't happy with the way we were playing this season. I had been chopping and changing my tactics here and there trying to find a winning formula, then I just thought sod it, lets start from scratch. Opened up the tactic creator and then went for basic and to really look at what I was asking the team to do, and what capabilities my team actually have. So I looked at my squad, looked at the best players we have. Pineda, Benitez and Fraga. Fraga was always a given seeing as he's the keeper and they rarely change. So I put the other two in the team first, in their preferred positions, then carried on going down my team and putting players in on ability. We then had a first XI with roles. I had been playing a high closing down game before, and while I like this idea in principle, it didn't work for us, we had far too many people come out of position and not win possession, so I scrapped this idea and told the players not to press so much, but let them come to us, keep shape. I had also been keen on a short passing game, work it around wait for an opening. Again I went the opposite, I went direct, get the ball forward to the players that can do damage, if it's not in our half we can't concede.
Now on to the game. Maybe it was because Jaguares were on a bad run of their own, but we were very, very good and efficient. We didn't let a ball go to waste, players looked like they had talent and really wanted it. Jaguares probably thought they were turning up with 3 points in the bag, but we surprised them a treat. During the game I took a closer look at the stats, at my assistants advice and generally how my team were performing. The little things aye! Delighted with the win, and hopefully many more of this standard to come. (Queue 3-0 loss to Santos Laguna next game).
Key defender: Fernando Serrano
At 17 he's now our 2nd best defender and is now a regular. Put in a solid shift against Jaguares, made some crucial tackles and interceptions.
Key midfielder/attacker: Ubael Romero
This lad is the present and future of the team. He put in a class performance against Jaguares to secure the overwhelming win. He still has a lot of room for improvement as well, apparently.