MIAMI – A majority of the Florida record 70,080 fans in attendance at Sun Life Stadium for Wednesday night's World Football Challenge match were probably there to witness the spectacle that is watching European champions FC Barcelona.
Instead, they watched the Marco Fabián show, featuring two highlight-reel goals by the Chivas de Guadalajara forward on a 25-yard bomb and a spectacular flying scissors kick which will make the up-and-coming Mexican star a household name by the time the goals are replayed around the world.
“I’m very happy,” the 22-year-old told media after the match. “For me, it’s a dream to score a goal against Barcelona, and even more the way I scored the two goals. Very happy. It’s a dream tonight. Now I have to keep working.”
The first strike came in the 60th minute on a long-distance strike on which he took advantage of lax marking to find the upper left corner. Three minutes later, he met an Omar Arellano cross with a flying scissors kick that thundered into the back of the net.
In the span of four minutes, Fabián had single-handedly overturned a 1-0 deficit, stunning the defending European champs and energizing his teammates in the quest for a famous victory, their first against FC Barcelona after three former attempts.
“Marco Fabián is a great friend of mine and he’s a crack,” said FC Barcelona’s Mexican right back Jonathan dos Santos, using the commonly used Spanish term for star. “It doesn’t surprise me. I knew he was a great player and I was with him in the Copa América and I know he had great qualities.”
Copa América was only one of two major summer tournaments during which Fabián represented Mexico. He was also summoned by the senior national team to replace one of five suspended players in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
While FC Barcelona may highlight their young academy players from La Masía at every opportunity they get, Chivas put on display their own youth products. Fabián has been in the system 10 years.
But the question everyone was asking after the game was if the cross chipped by Arellano to Fabián at the far post meant for a scissors kick? Arellano admitted to MLSsoccer.com that based on training sessions, he assumed there had to be a teammate at the back post.
“This goal was planned,” Chivas owner Jorge Vergara said. “They [Arellano and Fabián] are understanding each other very well. Any team that we face should be worried.”
“It’s not a coincidence,” Fabián said after the match. “I love to practice these [scissors kicks] a lot in trainings. I told the people who know me that I would try it eventually. I knew one day it would work out. Hopefully it’s the first of many. You have to try and not think about it. It’s a question of seconds to try these plays.”
It’s a daring that only someone brimming with confidence has. And Fabián, who has one goal in the Mexican regular season, has a great deal of it right now.
“I think I’m going through a good moment, but I’m always looking ahead,” Fabián said. “We talked about it. Beating Barcelona would remain in our careers forever and personally it’s a great happiness and something that I’m never going to forget.
“It will go down in history that we beat Barcelona 4-1,” he concluded, almost trying to convince himself it was actually true and he wasn’t really living a dream.