Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Colima fans and players should have known it wasn't their day early in the first half of Sunday's Liga Mexicana championship game against Abasolo.
After only five minutes of play, a taco truck drove onto the field, interrupting a Colima scoring chance and forcing the referee to stop the game.
That moment of confusion may have been the turning point of the match because from that point on, Abasolo "abasolutely" dominated, and successfully defended their league title by a score of 6-2.
Victor Rodriguez, Rene Gutierrez and Rolando Morales each scored two goals as Abasolo controlled the tempo -- and the ball -- for the entire match. Jose Antonio Hernandez and Alberto Perez contributed two assists apiece, and dominated the midfield throughout.
Abasolo's defense played both physically and consistently, not allowing the high-powered Colima offense to find a groove. They kept Colima's star striker Ramiro Infante in check and didn't permit many scoring chances in either half, surrendering only a penalty kick and an own goal.
Morales scored Abasolo's first goal just ten minutes into the match, after Hernandez sent a long ball from the left touchline into traffic. The ball was deflected to Morales, who headed the ball over the Colima goalkeeper's outstretched arms to make the score 1-0.
Later in the half, Rodriguez stole the ball in his own half of the field and dribbled through a throng of defenders before tatooing a drive into the lower left corner.
Morales struck again just before halftime after a scramble inside the box. An Abasolo defender played the ball from midfield to Perez, who controlled the ball with his chest and sent a bullet toward the keeper. He deflected the ball back to Perez, who hit another drive -- this one off the crossbar -- but it went right to Morales, who finished the play with a header to make it 3-0.
Colima appeared to wake up early in the second half, and they had more scoring opportunities in the first ten minutes than in the entire first half. They finally got on the board at the 15-minute mark when Victor Del Real converted a penalty kick to make the score 3-1.
Colima's passing improved as the half went on, and had numerous chances after the penalty kick. One golden chance unfolded when Infante retrieved the ball about 40 yards from goal and chipped the ball far post to Victor Ortega, who sent the ball just over the bar.
Minutes later, Del Real had a breakaway, but he touched the ball too far in front of him and never got off a shot. Del Real continued to threaten deep in the Abasolo zone, sending a soft cross along the goal line that Infante one-timed past the keeper, but wound up going wide.
The momentum shift didn't last long, however. Abasolo regained control of the midfield and put the game away on two consecutive scores with 15 minutes to play. On the first, Perez chipped the ball over the defense to Gutierrez, who dribbled around the goalie and scored to make it 4-1.
Then, just two minutes later, Colima defender Sergio Osorio misplayed a long ball and Gutierrez pounced on it, sending the ball underneath the goalie for a score of 5-1.
Colima later scored on an own goal by the Abasolo defense, but Abasolo stretched the advantage back to four goals almost immediately when Rodriguez fired a bullet past the diving Colima keeper into the upper right corner -- an appropriate exclamation point for Abasolo's performance on Sunday, and the perfect culmination to their season.