Photo: Diario Trome
Arguably, the Peruvian Primera Division is one of the most challenging tournaments on the planet with its variety of climates and the challenging trips the teams must make. This last round, other uncontrollable factors where thrown in to the mix to make it more difficult for the players and managers to execute their plans.
San Martin 2-0 Union Comercio
Ake Loba was again unstoppable, this time for Union Comercio’s defence and surely if he keeps his form he will be playing in a stronger league next year. A shrewd signing by Alvaro Barco, San Martin’s Director of Football, Loba scored 2 goals to give San Martin the 3 points. After Loba scored from the penalty spot, Union Comercio came out to look for the draw but unfortunately for their interests, San Martin took advantage of the spaces left to finish them off in the second half. Again, Loba with a magnificent pass from Jairo Concha, scored with his 17th goal of the campaign. Some notable performances to mention, young Jesus Pretel and Jairo Concha were strong performers in the midfield, while Portales and Jose Lujan dominated in defence where the exciting Willyan Mimbela was not accompanied by his team mates in breaking down San Martin.
UTC 0 -0 Ayacucho
Ayacucho can consider having obtained an excellent result in Cajabamba. Why? They had defender Hugo Souza sent off in the first 15 minutes, so had to play 75 minutes down a player, and, UTC almost always wins in Cajabamba. The trip from Ayacucho to Cajabamba must be impossibly long and arduous for a team like Ayacucho. So, the attitude they showed to gain a result was magnificent. UTC are increasingly looking lackluster and their form has dipped in the last 4 games. Player to watch? Franco Navarro has picked up Brandon Palacios on loan from Cristal and is getting minutes; Exciting to see he has shown some of the quality of his famous father “Chorri” Palacios. Let’s wait and see.
Melgar 3-2 Sport Huancayo
This was an exciting game to watch. Melgar found themselves down twice in this game but showed the resilience of past years and eventually came back to win it 3-2. Great performances from Paolo Fuentes who scored one of the best goals of the season with a scissor kick in the middle of the area to tie the game in the 75’ minute and Bernardo Cuesta who was a problem that Huancayo could not solve. Neumann also had a great game with a goal and an assist, but unfortunately for him his great performance was for naught. Huancayo might want to consider changing their game up a bit as the long ball to Neumann as their main tactic will come undone when he’s unable to play. Notable mention: Cristofer Gonzalez, he owned the team tonight, if he continues in this form, watch out for Melgar in the Clausura. Melgar have not lost in the last 9 games.
Cantolao 2-0 Universitario
Who would have thought to call this a relegation battle? But the reality is that Universitario are fighting for their lives and are finding it difficult to win the key games that would take them into safety. Cantolao were far superior to Universitario. In modern football, having possession does not guarantee anything and Cantolao had more chances than la “U” even though they had less of the ball. A goal from Jose Castillo and Colombian David Cortes, who celebrated with a dodgy dance sealed it for Cantolao. To add to la U’s woes, Corzo and the ever-injured Rodriguez are out for several weeks when La U will face direct rivals in their relegation battle.
Comerciantes Unidos 1-2 Binacional
What can be said about poor Comerciantes Unidos? The played another “home” game in another city, this time Trujillo, with no public and in a pitch in terrible condition because of an evangelical event the day before. The football federation in Peru must get their act together because what is happening to Comerciantes attempts against the game itself. Back to the game, Comerciantes, with a lot of new players inserted to their side in the last few weeks could not put together a collective effort to compete against Binacional, another team going through tremendous economic pressures, that has done themselves proud in the first campaign in Primera. Goals from talented Andy Polar and the brilliantly named Yorkman Tello turned the game around after Miguel Curiel’s excellent solo effort. It’s just a matter of time, surely Comerciantes Unidos will get relegated and can go home to Cutervo for the 2nd Division next year and actually get to play in their home town.
Alianza Lima 2-2 Sporting Cristal
This might go down in the history books of the absurd! But first the sporting result: 2-2, with each half belonging to each team. Cristal dominated the 1st half and was on top by 2-1 with 2 goals from the top scorer in years in the Peruvian League: Emmanuel Herrera. He’s been so dominating that he’s scored 30 goals in 29 games this year, that’s a whooping more than one goal per game. The up and coming but already undisciplined Kevin Quevedo pulled one back for Alianza. Then the unthinkable happened, in the 20th minute of the second half the referee was informed by the police that they could not guarantee the security of the spectacle and that the game had to be stopped. There was violence by apparently two factions of the Alianza “Barras” with a gun battle outside the stadium. So, the police pulled the plug on the game and went to control the problem outside. There was a slight problem, when they left they also left 30,000 people with no police presence…… The rest of the game continued the day after, behind closed doors, Alianza tied the game in the 90th minute by a fantastic Lemos free-kick. 2-2 it was, and what a shame because the football game was actually quite good.
Deportivo Municipal 0-0 Sport Boys
What was touted as a potential great game was a snooze fest. Played in a bouncy, badly maintained field in Callao due to overuse, the two teams could not control the ball and played out a boring draw. Sport Boys new manager, Fernandez, already showed his work on the team as they looked more organized than under Valencia. It looks that they might try to draw their way out of the relegation zone and not risk more than they need to. Tejada, their Panamanian striker, is a fantastic player that almost won the game for them if not because of rising goalkeeper, Rivadeneyra, ex Alianza Atletico, who pulled some dramatic saves. Rivadeneyra is now unbeaten in the last 3 games as Municipal drive to the top spots in the table. We will know if they are the real deal in the next games they have: vs. Cristal and Alianza.
Real Garcilaso 3-1 Sport Rosario
In what seemed a one-sided affair in favour of Garcilaso after the 3-0 half-time score, Sport Rosario showed some spirit in the second half, but left it too late and lost 3-1.
Again, as in previous matches, Dulanto and Ramua were dominant and led Garcilaso along with deputies Vidales and Rengifo to an overwhelming win. For Sport Rosario, Llontop had a poor return to Primera Division, but on-loan Cristal youngsters Bernaola and Tavara sold their defeat at a high price with outstanding performances. Garcilaso are looking like title contenders while Sport Rosario off-the-field problems seem to be catching up with them as they are slipping dangerously toward the relegation zone.