When Club America opened the Liga MX Clausura 2014 season against Tigres UANL, the story of the game would not be how they won 3-0 and looked more like the team they were under old coach Miguel Herrera as opposed to what new coach Antonio Mohamed could have done in terms of trying to make play as how he would like tactically. The story of the game ended up being the comments made by Tigres coach Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferreti, who said that America played with 12 in that game, implying that the referee intentionally made or refused to make certain calls because he wanted to help America win.
Well, once again, the story after this America home win, which was a 1-0 win over Leon, the team who beat them in the Estadio Azteca to claim the Apertura 2013 title, will be the refereeing mistakes made by referee Paul Delgadillo whose bad day at the office played a major role in America’s win. The first bit of controversy came midway through the first half when Leon midfielder Carlos Peña made one of his patent runs into the penalty area and was forearm pushed off the ball from behind causing him to fall, but Delgadillo did not blow the whistle for a foul and a subsequent penalty kick in Leon’s favor.
The next bit of controversy would come at the 65th minute when America forward Raul Jimenez was judged to have been taken down inside the penalty area by the tail leg of a sliding Ignacio Gonzalez. Upon replay, it was clear that no contact was made by Gonzlaez’s trail leg and if there was contact, it then must have occurred outside the penalty area. Jimenez would calmly take his penalty to score the goal that would give America all three points from this game.
Once again, the focus will be on the job that Delgadillo did in this game which needless to say is that we can all agree without being a referee assessor that Delgadillo would get a failing grade for his performance, especially on his two penalty/non-penalty calls. But to solely focus on that would be missing and ignoring that America deserved to come out of this game with all three points. Mohamed’s decision to field two holding midfielders, with Jesus Molina joining Juan Carlos Medina in the midfield while sticking with the 3-5-2 formation with two wing backs proved an astute move as America was not overrun in the midfield like they were back in the Apertura 2013 playoff final.
In addition to slowing down the Leon midfield with Molina and Medina, America showed a willingness to more often take shots on goal with Jimenez proving to be the most adventurous in doing this. In the end, Mohamed did a better job of working and managing his substitutions to lockdown a 1-0 win which will give be overshadowed by Delgadillo’s performance and overshadow what in the end was a deserved America win.