In Cali, that city that throbs to the beat of salsa, Melgarour Melgar, imposed his rhythm and cornered the Deportivo Caliin the first leg of the round of 16 of the South American Cup.
The goalless tie ended with the locals asking for the time, as they finished the match, in Palmira, with nine players after the expulsions of Carlos Lucumí (86′) and Daniel Luna (89′).
An unthinkable result in the previous one, but due to the course of events, it leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction and even anger. There were enough opportunities to leave with a historic triumph against a lackluster rival that is not the one that became champion at the end of 2021 nor the one that fought Boca Juniors and Corinthians face to face in the group stage of the Libertadores.
The match had a special seasoning: . If they had any doubts, yesterday they dissipated it before the correct approach of the people of Arequipa who suffered practically no frights.
Melgar He demonstrated, once again, why he is the great exception of Peruvian football and is capable of fighting on both fronts (national and international) without making a fool of himself or making excuses.
Quite the contrary: yesterday without Bernard Cuesta, their historical scorer, the Mistians managed to wreak havoc on the sugar squad. Although it is true that if Arequipa’s most beloved Argentine had been present, they would surely have liquidated the key. Luis Iberian he ate a couple of goals, forgetting that he was once a center forward.
The work of the midfield is remarkable: a trident made up of busy players, who also know how to handle the ball: Orzan, tandazo and the ‘Chaca’ Arias. The latter the figure of the party. Unfold, remove, and play. Above, without Cuesta as an attack reference, Perez Guedes it was planted in its place to distract the Colombians, and from there to distribute and assist. The most false ‘9’ of recent times.
on the other sidewalk, Dudamelthe coach of Cali, the same one that a few smartasses introduced in the deck to replace Ricardo Gareca before an eventual resignation, he never knew how to counter Néstor Lorenzo’s blackboard. “Theo” Gutierrez, without gunpowder at 37 years old, served as ten and captain. But the harsh truth is that he could not organize or lead.
The changes were cursed for Deportivo Cali: Lucumí entered for Rodríguez at 71 ‘and fifteen minutes later he was expelled. Case similar to that of Luna: he entered at 79 ′ for ‘Teo’ Gutiérrez and they showed him the red card after ten minutes. The six minutes that the referee gave in the discounts for what was paralyzed by the interference of the VAR were short.
Be that as it may, this Wednesday 6 Melgar has the unbeatable advantage of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the South American. Something that a non-Limeño team has not achieved for eight years. The last team, back in 2014, was the César Vallejo University. This Sunday, in addition, Melgar will be reached with the draw against Alianza Atlético, in Sullana, to win the Apertura Tournament. The glory will depend on those three days. To maintain integrity.