Atlético Nacional and América de Cali will face off in what will undoubtedly be the most attractive key of the 2020 BetPlay League quarterfinals. Both teams arrive amid many doubts: the purslane will have an interim coach, waiting for appoint a property technician; the scarlets, unconvinced in the Juan Cruz Real trial.
Positive and negative aspects of each team. This is how we see them for this fabulous quarter-final bracket.
– Attack: Nacional is a team with a lot of goals, in the ‘all against all’ phase, it scored 39 goals, being the highest scoring attack in the championship. Between Andrés Andrade, Jefferson Duque, with seven goals, are the team’s gunners. In addition, in the last minutes is when the purslanes are sharpest with the opposite network.
– Great visitor: Outside of Atanasio, Nacional won six games, drew one and lost three. Scoring 21 goals and receiving 18. Being the second best in the League, with the same points of Deportes Tolima: 19 points.
– Empowered youth: Players like Yerson Mosquera, Brayan Córdoba, have been consolidating themselves in the starting team, lending a hand in a difficult moment of the championship, where defensive injuries proliferated in the team. Little by little, more players from the good quarry that Nacional has will be added.
– Defense: The decompensation is what affects Nacional the most. Although he has a great attack, his defense was one of the most goals of the championship. Added to the injuries and level problems in some players, it was a headache for Juan Carlos Osorio that cost him his coaching position. If this weakness is not corrected, elimination will be imminent.
– Little reaction in the first minutes of play: In many games, Nacional started below on the scoreboard and although some managed to come back, that reactivity conditioned them to lose many points along the way. They had a hard time getting into the rhythm of the game.
– Ball still: Another headache derived from defensive failures was set pieces. Even many goals came as a result of a throw-in. Failures that in round trip keys are unforgivable.
Andrés Andrade: The ‘Rifle’ is the best player on the team, in addition to his talent, he puts soul and heart into the way he plays. Nacional’s ’10’ shirt did not weigh him down and with 23 games played out of the 23 that the team played in the League and South American Cup, Andrade contributed with eight goals and 10 assists, which meant important points for this campaign. This 31-year-old Vallecaucano flyer is the ‘ace’ in the pursuit’s sleeve.
A statistical figure
As third in the ‘all against all’ phase, he was champion twice: League I-2007, League I-2011; runner-up twice: League I-2002, League I-2004; and eliminated the other four times: League II-2008 in home runs, League II-2014 in home runs, League II-2017 in quarterfinals.
Alejandro Restrepo was the one who, as an interim coach, helped reengineer this ‘boat’ and take it to qualification. But Alexandre Guimarães will be the coach of the team, starting the challenge of the ‘playoffs’. The Costa Rican nationalized Brazilian is the last League champion coach, after he has brought América de Cali to his star 14. If he won the title with Nacional, he would be the coach who had the fewest games to win a League, above names like Luis Fernando Suárez who took over the team after the departure of Argentine Reinaldo ‘Mostaza’ Merlo in 1999 and Paraguayan César López Fretes who replaced Vladimir Popovic in 1973.
America from Cali
– A starting goalkeeper in good condition: Goalkeeper Joel Graterol has been a guarantee in the scarlet bow for his good reflexes and also for his agility to tackle maximum penalties.
– Experience players: Having men like Juan Pablo Segovia, Marlon Torres, Luis Alejandro Paz, Rafael Carrascal, Carlos Sierra, Duván Vergara and Adrián Ramos should be an important factor in a team that has title claims, although despair spreads in the massive red partial.
– An unstable defense: On several occasions the posterior sector has been seen to falter when facing fast and skilled players,
– Soccer downturn: Unlike other seasons, the decisive part of the 2020 League takes the scarlet cast on a weak level, without game variants, predictable in attack and subject to individual performances.
– Few tactical variables: Millionaires and Equity exposed the enormous problems that America has to overcome results against it. Not even in his own stadium he lived up to the proposals of the two capital teams.
Duván Vergara: he is the most representative player of the team and the one that has been asked the most from abroad. The change of pace in speed is one of the characteristics that has always been praised. Unfortunately, his level has also fallen in recent days.
A statistical figure
58.3% is the spoils of the scarlet coach: 12 games has Juan Cruz Real in America. He has added 12 of 18 points at home and 9 of 18 possible outside his stadium (including 0-3 over Cúcuta at the desk). At home: 2-1 to Bucaramanga, 3-1 to Águilas Doradas, 3-0 to Patriotas, 3-2 to Pasto, lost 0-2 with Millonarios and 1-2 with Equidad. As a visitor: He fell 1-0 with Tolima, drew 1-1 with Envigado, 1-1 with Junior, 2-2 with Nacional, defeated 0-1 at Pereira and 0-3 at Cúcuta (on the desk).
The name of Juan Cruz Real was never well received by the fans of América de Cali when Tulio Gómez decided not to give continuity to Alexandre Guimarães’ process. Having lost the 2020 Super League, being eliminated in the first phase of the Copa Libertadores, not entering the South American Cup and aside, his current football production, as well as the recent bad results have his fans united in networks with #FueraCruzReal.
Juan Camilo Alvarez Serrano
En Twitter: @juanchoserran8
Marco Antonio Garcés
In Twitter: @marquitosgarces