Primera Division

Liga 1 Review: Matchday Full of Draws

This round was characterised with very little good football and a few stalemates. Binacional and Cristal won their second game in a row and now lead the division. Sport Boys lost their second game in as many games and looks like it will be fighting for its life again this season. The refereeing standards have dropped this season from last and it shows by the number of cards being shown which does not allow the games to flow. Obviously, the players could help too.

Rating System: Excellent, Very Good, Entertaining, Mediocre, Bad.

UTC 0 vs. Carlos A. Mannucci 0

In a mediocre game, UTC and Manucci could only muster a draw that left nobody satisfied. UTC’s second appearance showed no difference to their style of late: dour, scrappy and with little creativity. Manucci, on the other hand took the game to UTC despite the altitude. But to no avail, they could not break the deadlock. Its important to mention that Jean Deza had two opportunities to finish off Manucci in the last 5 minutes but finished dreadfully. Is he another Peruvian player that did not fulfill his promise? From playing for Montpellier in France 5 years ago to playing for UTC is an incredible fall.

Game Rating: Mediocre

Universitario 3 vs. Pirata FC 1

Universitario had no problem in seeing off the challenge of Pirata FC in their 1st home game of the season. The attendance was acceptable, but again, more people showed up to the team presentation gala in the pre-season than to a proper league game. Universitario deserves more support from their fans.

Pirata FC showed game for the first 20 minutes until Universitario scored two goals in the space of two minutes, first a cracker by Quintero and then a tap in by Hohberg. In both goals, Pirata’s left back Quevedo showed lack of resources for a 1st Division game. Quevedo would also give away a penalty in the second half after some naïve defending against Quintero, who had his number all night. Pirata FC looked very lightweight and will need to improve if they want to continue in the 1st Division. They did show a very interesting player in Carlos Canales, a class above his team mates. Universitario won easily, but their midfield showed the same contention errors as the first game against Comercio giving their centre backs way too much work. They will be exposed against stronger opposition if they don’t address the problem.

Game Rating: Mediocre

Cesar Vallejo 2 vs. Sport Huancayo 2

A draw was probably the best result for a game between two teams that did not deserve to lose in a back and forth game. The tide turned many times during the game with both teams dominating for large amounts of time. First it was Vallejo: their prize came at the 17th minute with a fantastic goal by Pacheco after a combination with Silva that broke Huancayo’s defence. Huancayo answered back by taking the game by the scruff of the neck until Neumann scored from a free kick inside the area. The 2nd half started with Huancayo dominating and newcomer Carlos Ross scored his first for Huancayo. Vallejo reacted by taking control of the midfield and equalized through Silva, who was a nightmare for the Huancayo side. When it looked like the game was ending in a draw, Aparicio fouled Orejuela in the area in the 90th minute. Orejuela took the penalty and missed!! Vallejo could have won it but had to settle for a draw. Vallejo looks like a well drilled side, as for Huancayo, they improved since the Cristal game but not to the levels expected after last year’s performance.

Game Rating: Entertaining

Ayacucho 1 vs. Melgar 1

In a boring game, Melgar held Ayacucho to a draw and got their first points of the season. With an alternate side, Melgar came to Ayacucho with the purpose of not losing. Ayacucho took the initiative but Melgar showed their order under Pautasso to thwart their opponents’ initiatives. Posito opened the score for Melgar and Kevin Sandoval very quickly equalized for Ayacucho.

Game Rating: Mediocre

Cantolao 0 vs. Binacional 4

Binacional crushed Cantolao by 4-0 in a show of efficiency as they only had possession for 35% of the game. It just goes to show that having the ball will not win games. Cantolao can blame dreadful finishing and Sotillo for showing nothing at the end of the game. Sotillo is having a great start to the season .The Binacional midfield and forwards were very solid today in particular Millan, Marco Rodriguez, Polar and Yorkman Tello. Unassuming manager Javier Arce who was brilliant last year when given the chance with Comerciantes Unidos, is working his magic with Binacional. Let’s hope the board of Binacional support their team this year and we don’t see the nonsense of last year when they didn’t pay their players for a few months.

Game Rating: Entertaining

Sport Boys 0 vs. Union Comercio 1

Union Comercio won important 3 points against a feisty Sport Boys side in Callao and now sit in the first places in the table with 4 points. It is truly refreshing to see players from the region of origin of the team Union Comercio playing well and showing promise: Angel Zamudio and Jose Rivera, both from the San Martin region, played well tonight and have been playing very well since last year. Gularte, the Uruguayan centre forward scored his first goal and is looking like a good signing for Comercio. As for Sport Boys, they are a still a work in process team and will need to improve their football to start earning points, at least they have spirit and fight in them. Every game against Sport Boys will be difficult. It is time for their fans to get behind the team and not abandon them.

Game Rating: Entertaining

Deportivo Municipal 0 vs. Alianza Universidad 0

In a bad game where the defensive players for both sides controlled the game, Municipal and Alianza Universidad drew 0-0. Nine yellow cards and a red card is the summary of a game that was full of friction and lack of clarity by both teams. If Municipal want to be a contender this season, they will need to figure out how to break down teams that only want to defend a point. As for Alianza Universidad, they came to Lima for a point and got it. Really nothing wrong with that as they need to consolidate themselves in this division.

Game Rating: Bad

Sporting Cristal 1 vs. Alianza Lima 0

In what was a stop and start game that never picked up tempo with the large number of fouls (38), Cristal deservedly beat Alianza by 1-0. There was a refreshing outcome of the game and that was the performance of 20 year, Gianfranco Chavez, back center of Cristal who not only “disappeared” Affonso from the game but gave a fantastic assist to Pacheco to win the game. Someone to look out for in the future. Cristal controlled the game and frustrated Alianza Lima, and its interesting to see they can scrape results when 2018’s +66 goal duo Costa and Herrera are not in the side. We’ll probably see more of that this year after Costa’s departure.

Alianza’s Fuentes got sent off in the 52nd minute and after that Alianza could not control Cristal’s midfield who took charge.

Game Rating: Mediocre

Real Garcilaso 2 vs. San Martin 1

In another controversial game where the referee was the center of attention, San Martin lost 2-1 with Garcilaso in Cusco. Referee Joel Alarcon sent off Portales and goalie Penny for arguing in the 84th minute. After, forward Renato Espinoza had to take over as goalie and did a decent job but to no avail as San Martin’s Salas had to leave the game injured. That left San Martin with 8 outfield players to chase to try to draw the game. Garcilaso’s holding midfield were very strong and not only controlled the game but also scored the goals: Miguez and Archimbaud. Ramua came on the 66th minute to hold it together for the home team

Highly touted by the Peruvian Waltz, Oslimg Mora made his professional debut and changed the game for the visitors. Remember the name as we believe he’s the best to come out in Peru in many years.

Game Rating: Entertaining

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