by Janne Sørensen
May was one crazy month for Xela’s soccer team, Los Super Chivos. It was a close race to make it to the playoffs, but Xelaju did it. In the playoffs Xelaju played Heredia. They lost a close match in Izabal 1-2, but won the return match 6-2 in an amazing match at Estadio Mario Camposeco, making the final score 4-7 in favor of Los Chivos.
Xelaju played the semifinals against Marquense from San Marcos. In two matches Xelaju managed to win with the score 2-1 – well helped along by the many loyal fans who traveled to San Marcos to support the team. That Sunday afternoon there was a celebration in Parque Central with banners and people singing, but well, it’s not every day that Los Super Chivos make it to the finals of the national league. The two teams from Guatemala City, “Los Cremas” and “Los Rojos” were competing for the second spot in the finals, but “Los Rojos” won a narrow 2-1 victory and were then ready to challenge Xelaju in the finals.
The first final took place in the capital. It’s always difficult to win away from home, but despite the distance, many fans had travelled all the way to cheer for the team in this important game. You could even hear the chants of Xelaju fans on TV during the entire game. The Chivos did well right up until 10 minutes before the final whistle when “Los Rojos” scored the only goal in the match.
The second final took place Saturday the 19th at 8pm, but people had already arrived that morning to get the good seats. Rumor has it that some dedicated fans even slept outside the stadium! At 3pm the stadium was crowded and by kick-off the atmosphere was at boiling point. Regular time ended in a tie so the match continued with 30 minutes extra time and ultimately a penalty shoot-out when the 42-year old goalkeeper, Fernando Patterson, did an excellent job that led Xelaju to the final victory with the score 5-3. The (about) 11,000 fans at the stadium and people around town went crazy when Los Super Chivos won their 5th victory in history, also called the La Quinta Luna (the 5th moon). With this victory Xelaju also qualified for the Champions League of North and Central America in 2012-2013, but for now there will be a short break for Los Chivos before the next tournament starts.