Later this gorgeous Pacific Time morning, I’ll be heading out to the LA Convention Center to check out the LA Auto Show.
I may find my next car or I may just get extremely tired walking around for hours on end. Which will it be?
In the meantime, the UEFA Nations League group stage has ended, the mid-week Champions League and Europa League games are done for a bit, and so the Euro leagues are back again in full swing!
Here is today’s schedule of games (all times Pacific):
The big games of the day are in the Mexican league as it is one of the very few leagues (MLS among them) that utilize a seeded knockout playoff bracket to crown the champion.
Cruz Azul took a 2-0 win in Querétaro on Wednesday and now play at home to solidify their #1 seed and continue on their quest to add another trophy this year as they just won the Mexican Cup.
In the other game, Santos Laguna hosts Monterrey after narrowly losing 1-0 on Wednesday. They are a tough team at home and should be able to squeeze at least one goal out.
This would be enough as any ties are settled by finishing position, not extra time or penalties, so finishing #4 based on goal differential instead of #5 like Monterrey did could turn out to be vital.
Here’s what I suggest:
Before I let you go, please allow me to talk for a bit about the Copa Libertadores Final.
HAVE YOU BEEN FOLLOWING THIS INSANE SHIT?!?
Seriously, it’s bananacakes.
To refresh your memory, the Copa Libertadores is the South American version of the European Champions League. Instead of holding a one game final at a neutral site, the winner is crowned after two legs, one game at each team’s stadium.
The two teams vying for the cup are Boca Juniors and River Plate who are bitter rivals from Buenos Aires in the Argentinian league. You’ll see soon exactly how bitter.
Let’s start with the first leg, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 in Boca’s beautiful stadium, La Bombonera. Unfortunately, a heavy rainstorm turned the field into this:
And so the game was moved to the following day, Sunday, November 11, 2018. This time, the weather cooperated, the field recovered, and the two teams tied in a feisty and hard-fought game that saw 4 goals and six yellow cards.
The return leg was scheduled for Saturday, November 24, but on the way to the stadium on game day, this happened:
The Boca bus got hit, several players were hurt, and the final was postponed.
Again, the game was rescheduled for the following day.
However, after reviewing video and getting updates on the conditions of the players (who were ok, but shook up), CONMEBOL, the equivalent of UEFA, decided to postpone the game indefinitely until they could ensure a “level playing field”.
This is, of course, subject to interpretation. Finally, CONMEBOL decided, in their infinite wisdom and not at all motivated by dollar signs, to hold the return leg in…wait for it…
Yup, apparently the Bernabéu is now the host stadium as the Copa for the South American Club Champion will be awarded in Europe on Sunday, December 9, 2018, making it the longest final in history.
As you may have guessed, this decision was not well-received. Both clubs have filed protests and appeals. Boca thinks the second leg should not be played and they should be crowned champions. River doesn’t want to travel to Europe and wants the game played at home as originally scheduled. Both have said they will fight this all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
It should be noted that violence in Argentinean League games is VERY common and away fans have been banned from attending road games for some time.
So, the final is in limbo, tickets are being sold in another continent to a game that may not happen, and everyone is pissed.
At least we got a classic joke out of this (courtesy of Don T):
Enjoy the games, everyone!