International glory has never been easy to achieve, much less for a Peruvian club. But Melgar It is, today, that exception to the rule that keeps the entire country on edge, as almost never happens. The Arequipa club has tied at home, yes, but the illusion, beyond this bitter result (0-0), remains intact.
And it is that Melgar has earned as much trust as possible. Not even in a difficult moment in the group stage did he throw in the towel. And much less is he going to do it now. In the second leg, in Brazil, expectations will continue to be high.
Because the score does not really reflect what happened in the game. The red and black team was much superior in this first match of the key (quarterfinals), but unfortunately they did not know how to materialize that superiority in goals.
Pablo Lavallén will have to work hard this week to fight in Porto Alegre. A tough battle is coming and everyone knows it. Meanwhile, we review the keys that sustained the tie this Thursday in Arequipa.
Melgar had the ball most of the time. From the start, Lavallén’s team knew how to impose their status as locals on the field with a great percentage of possession (63%), completing a total of 435 precise passes, almost double that of their rival. However, that domain served very little and it was not possible to transcend beyond that.
lack of efficiency
Especially in the first half, with greater control of the ball, the ‘Domino’ enjoyed endless opportunities, which in the end he did not know how to take advantage of. On the right wing, the Arequipa team managed to generate several dangerous plays, which began at the feet of Alejandro Ramos and ended at Bernardo Cuesta. But none ended in a goal.
In total, Melgar finished 20 times at the rival goal, 11 more than his rival, without being able to make those chances concrete. Bernardo Cuesta, Melgar’s main offensive reference, gave the impression of hurrying, finishing off more than once in plays that required greater calm. That took its toll when defining.
Special mention deserves the Brazilian goalkeeper, Daniel, who was quite sure and firm to prevent the ‘Domino’ from being placed up on the scoreboard. According to the specialized portal SofaScore, the goalkeeper made nine key saves in the match. Without a doubt, he was the figure.
change of strategy
Suffering from Melgar’s constant attacks during the first half, Inter manager Mano Menezes decided to rethink his strategy for the second half. The Brazilian team, then, decided to wait longer in the complement, closed their lines and managed for the “rojinegros” to find fewer spaces when attacking.
All this was reinforced with the expulsion of center forward Alemao in the 64th minute. From then on, the Brazilian team withdrew more and focused solely on the defensive task. The important thing was to maintain the tie in visiting conditions and, after all, they achieved it.
Cristian Bordacahar was one of those who was playing the best in Melgar. The great capacity of the Argentine gave the team good circulation at all times. He even almost scored a header himself towards the end of the first half, but the crossbar denied him the celebration of it. Unfortunately, the ‘Domino’ midfielder was injured in the first half and was unable to continue in the second half. Luis Iberico entered in his place, but did not perform as expected.
In addition to highlighting the defensive virtues of the rival in the 2T, it is also important to do so in the case of Melgar. Matías Lazo, a promising Sub-20, was very firm in the brand, accompanied by an essential pillar like Alec Deneumostier. The wings also supported a lot in defensive tasks. Even Paolo Reyna and Alejandro Ramos also made the journey to optimally join in offensive.
That is why in much of the match, when Inter tried to come out and create a counterattack, many times the ‘Domino’ knew how to put out any fire. In addition, the recovery of the ball, throughout the match, was quite fleeting. And when it was Carlos Cáceda’s turn to work, he did quite well. He even pulled a complicated heads up. It is vital that if you can’t score, at least the rival can’t either. And, in that respect, he did the right thing.
The Monumental of the UNSA, a fort
Along the same lines as the previous section, “if you don’t win it, don’t lose it”, the UNSA Monument continues to be a true fort for Melgar. With the 0-0, the red and black team remains undefeated at home in the Copa Sudamericana. In fact, they have won all their matches in the tournament at home except for the one in this bracket against Internacional.
Now, it will be important to seek victory in Brazil. On the road, Melgar won once and lost twice in the group stage, while in the round of 16 against Deportivo Cali, he rescued a valuable draw in Colombia. The ‘Domino’, who firmly believes in exploits, will not shrink next week when he has to visit Inter and will try to qualify for the semi-finals at all costs.