Pumas 1 – 0 Club America

I’d never make an effort to watch Mexican league soccer…but if I’m in Mexico City, and its two biggest teams are playing each other in El Clásico Capitalino, and there’s a group of people who want to go and there’s a person who can procure us tickets and drive us to and from the stadium, I’m invariably going to go. The game itself was borderline unwatchable. There was precious little skill on display at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario this afternoon: the game was ninety minutes of brute physicality, of two teams confusing “lumping the ball forward” with “attacking football.” But the experience was worth the (inflated) price of admission. The Pumas goal was scrappy (and I still have no idea who scored it), but was celebrated with beer being flung from the upper bowl onto those of us seated below. Roaving senders, who were hawking everything from beer to “signed” pictures of Javier Hernandez, continually climbed in front of us and then onto the backs of our seats. Our view was partly obscured by a chain-link fence…and it didn’t matter. All that mattered was six friends at a soccer game together, getting lost together after it was finished (it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to find our driver), and living to tell the tale. I’ll never complain about an opportunity with that sort of payoff.

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