The Copa Libertadores is the dream that keeps Estudiantes awake, and at the same time the goal that keeps them from focusing on other things. Yesterday it was clear that the head of his players was in the key that comes against Paranaense for the quarterfinals and then the 0-0 at home against Banfield was a logical result.
The point had little flavor, because the team did not look ambitious in attack or solid defensively. And, to that bad image of the present, a question mark for the future thinking about next year’s agenda. Little to rescue and only one certainty: the key against Paranaense will mark the sporting future of the club that put all the expectation to continue advancing in the competition that, historically, kept it awake.
The first half was bad, decidedly bad. El Pincha exposed his lazy footballing gait on the pitch, enhanced by a tactical system that was impractical for the occasion: why try a five-player defense when the game required a greater offensive presence? This time the bet on the DT and his team did not go well, not only that it almost did not generate a single risk situation, but that in some passage it had a bad time.
In addition to suffering from a lack of play (the team was sucked by a defender and lacked a player on offense), he executed the stopped ball very poorly. That way he could have hurt a little more, but every cross or corner was misused.
The return of Agustín Rogel was one of the most outstanding events in Pincha / Dolores Ripoll
The one who suffered the most from this choice of players was Pablo Piatti, who had to go back several meters to touch the ball and, when he found it, he had to get rid of one, two and even three players. Even so, he was the only one who could wake the fans up from boredom. It was at 27 minutes, with a shot from outside the area that made Cambeses fly to deflect the ball to the corner kick. It was the only thing more or less similar to a goal situation, in addition to the claimed foul on Manuel Castro at the entrance to the area that the VAR checked without response.
On the other side, there was a rival who bet on the counterattack, with the management of Jesús Datolo, the strength of Ramiro Enrique and the speed of Urzi. It was this, at 35 minutes, who had the goal in his right boot. After a great run by Matías González on the right, he finished off the goal and the ball crashed into Andújar’s post. Very close was the visit to take advantage in the most unusual way: against and finding a team badly stopped that, despite having more defenders than recommended, was exposed due to its bad setback
In the second half Zielinski broke the initial scheme and sent the Uruguayan Mauro Méndez and Franco Zapiola to the field of play. Out Piatti and Lollo, the latter a whole message thinking about the duel on Thursday. The DT left a midfielder who plays central on the court over one who recently arrived to play in that position. The ex-Banfield thing was very poor in the 45 minutes he played, as happened before in the Bombonera.
But with the 4-4-2 he couldn’t change the equation either. When the head is on something else, no matter how many changes there are, little can be done. And that happened last night to Pincha, who never left the feeling of being close to scoring a goal throughout the game. Far, far away was that team that was taking its rivals ahead.
Nor could he twist the equation with the income of Benjamin Rollheiser and Brian Orosco. Beyond having the ball and always looking for the other goal, he played with a lower speed, slower and in a different tune. As much as any protagonist wants to affirm it, Estudiantes thinks about the Copa Libertadores and Thursday’s game in Curitiba. Good on the one hand, but very bad in the aspect of the space that is losing in the accumulated table, closer and closer to the last ones who are getting into the Copa Sudamericana and far from the positions of Libertadores 2023.
Goal chances had some with shots from outside the Rollheiser area and two in the same play, first avoided by the goalkeeper Cambeses throwing himself on the former River and then the defender Coronel clearing under the goal a shot destined for goal by Fernando Zuqui.
Both Zuqui and Corcho Rodríguez played a worrying game. In the middle they left so many spaces that at times Dátolo or Colo Cabrera managed ball and space. Many times, especially in the final stretch, he was badly stopped and it was only because of Mariano Andújar that he did not end up losing it. The veteran goalkeeper, who just yesterday was celebrating his birthday, was decisive so that his team did not leave empty-handed.
Students tied and the result is as fair as with little pleasure. For some time he has been playing with his head on something else and yesterday he was transferred to a field again. He put all his eggs in the Libertadores basket and on Thursday he will have a litmus test.
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