The best thing about the Argentine Cup (Copa Argentina) is the fact that it leaves a lot of room for underdog stories, as all football teams that partake in Argentine Football Associations (AFA) competitions are pit against each other in a massive knockout round where anything can happen. Teams from the lower divisions face the matches of their lives against teams they usually only see on television, and teams are ready to do whatever it takes to make history.
That’s exactly what happened yesterday after Sport Club Pacífico, a club from Southern Mendoza, beat the might Estudiantes de La Plata by 3-2 in the cup’s round of 64, motivating the resignation of Estudiantes’ coach Nelson Vivas.
And as with any good underdog, the team had to overcome several challenges to even play the game. Only to reach the stadium, it had to face an expense of AR $700,000, an astronomic sum for an institution its size. In order to raise funds, its supporters organized raffles and an event where they grilled 1,000 chickens in the club’s own football field. Moreover, 400 fans paid AR $1,000 each so their names would appear on the jerseys the players wore during the game.
Their battle to get to the field doesn’t end there. Most players have side jobs that allow them to make ends meet, since football is something they do out of passion. In the roster there’s a public worker, a school teacher, a P.E teacher, and the list goes on.
The city witnessed a small revolution in light of the victory. Thousands of fans gathered in the city center to celebrate by honking their car horns and light fireworks. A similar situation took place in the players’ locker room — without the fireworks and horns. Pacífico has made it through to the round of 32, where it will face the winner of the clash between San Martín de San Juan and Atlanta. The team is living a dream and is not willing to wake up if they have anything to say about it.
Here are some highlights from the game:
11 minutes into the first-half, Federico Amaya from Pacifico head-butted the ball into the goal with an assist from Mariano Andujar, raising the score to 1-0.
19 minutes into the game, Mariana Andujar from Pacifico attempted a free kick, but the ball was blocked by the goal-keeper. Only moments after, Ivo Hong from Pacifico recovered the ball from inside the goalie box, making the score 2-0.
When the game was lead by Pacifico and the score was 2-0, Lucas Alferez from Pacifico suffered a violent kick to the chin by opponent Sebastian Dubarbier. Alferez had to leave the game momentarily, and Subarbier received a yellow card for the incident.
With 33 minutes left in the game, and the score marked 3-1 in favor of Pacifico, Lucas Rodriguez from Estudiantes scored a goal.
The game concluded 3-2 with a header by Montiveros, which unleashed Pacifico’s celebration both at the pitch and the bleachers.