Independiente, who wants to shout champion of a crazy tournament after 19 years, and Colón, mounted on the illusion of achieving his first conquest in this area, will face each other this Monday from 7:00 p.m. at the San Juan del Bicentenario stadium, with the arbitration of Diego Abal and transmission of TNT Sports, to define which of the two will be the second finalist of the Professional League Cup. Here is an analysis of what each of these teams has to feed your hopes.
Independent: solidity first
Due to his personality, the Uruguayan Sebastián Sosa has been essential in the campaign. Transmits confidence and character to face decisive matches. In addition, he has proven effective in the series of shots from the penalty spot. In fact, in the definition against Estudiantes he cut two. He is in conflict with the club due to economic differences. But that will not influence when the ball reaches the red goal.
The sector from which the technician Falcioni stabilized the team. In some games, he defended with a line of five, in others he kept the traditional four and with this scheme he faced the last three games for the local tournament. He had to face the sale of Alan Franco and replace him with the youth of Sergio Barreto, Tomás Ostachuk and Ayrton Costa and the profession of Juan Manuel Insaurralde. The bet sometimes worked and sometimes it didn’t.
An area that Falcioni touched up a lot. Lucas Romero seems immovable as a central midfielder. Ensures deployment, recovery and good first pass. Domingo Blanco is naturally associated with him as a double five, but is in doubt for the semi-final. Adrian Arregui or Alan So Señora would play in his place and Gonzalo Asís will join as an internal from the right. Lack of game volume. And the team is sorry.
Although they weren’t always well supplied, Silvio Romero and Sebastián Palacios each scored four goals and are the top gunners. And on the bench will be Jonathan Herrera who can enter as a double striker if necessary. Alan Velasco will be the winger on the left, but many believe that the line limits him and that he could perform more playing loose behind Romero. Falcioni does not contemplate that option.
Julio Falcioni put together the team in his image and likeness. He privileged solidity over audacity and that was sometimes enough to win but almost never to convince. The campaign was irregular: he started losing with the Board of Trustees, then he won four games in a row, then he went another four dates without winning (in which he lost the classic with Racing) and of the last five games, he barely won two. His challenge is to win a local title again, something that Independiente has been denied for 19 years.
Columbus wants to make history
Leonardo Burián has supported the team with his saves. He was key against Talleres during regular time and in the penalty series in which he stopped a shot. He has confidence, courage, agility and a commanding voice. He would leave the club after this Cup, so if he were eliminated, he would be playing his last match at the institution against Independiente.
A line that will arrive weakened. The starting center-back Paolo Goltz and his replacement Bruno Bianchi are injured and will not play, so coach Eduardo Domínguez will have to improvise a libero and move too many pieces. What will not change will be the drawing that he used throughout the tournament: he will defend with five, giving way to the sides that would be Facundo Mura and Gonzalo Escobar. The operation is unknown.
One of the strong points. Rodrigo Aliendro, Federico Lértora and Alexis Castro have composed a balanced line. Aliendro and Lértora share the contention (although Aliendro gets loose more) and Castro plays close to the forwards: with four goals he is the team’s second scorer. The flanks pass and accompany the moment of attacking. Domínguez was able to stabilize the sector and in addition, the bank gives him variants to adjust during the game.
With 7 goals, Luis “Pulga” Rodriguez has had a splendid Cup. Author of so many beautiful ones, he joined the useful to the pleasant and always seemed to have one more resource when defining. Nicolás Leguizamón will play alongside him in a position that the Colombian Wilson Morelos and the promising youth Facundo Farías also passed through. With 23 goals in 14 games, Cólon is one of the four highest-scoring teams in the tournament.
To Eduardo Domínguez, the team appeared quickly: they won six of the first eight games and that start secured the classification very quickly. Then there was a slump and he managed just one win in the last six games, but he never ran the risk of being left out. Domínguez bets on intensity, but does not renounce good play. And he wants to go down in history: Colón never got a title in Primera and he may be the first to do so. He has two games and five days left to get there.