The Last of the Mohicans
Compared to last week, this matchday had some clear winners and losers. Of the two play-off aspirants from the last matchday we are down to one, Cultural Santa Rosa, who obliterated Serrato Pacasmayo on the road with a final score of 0–6. Three goals were scored each half within 15-minute time periods. Pacasmayo once again showed up with only 12 players.
They and their coach have become the Famous Thirteen of Pacasmayo willing to fight to the end. The tournament rules state that any team which accumulates two walk-overs is automatically relegated. Considering they lost their last game against Los Caimanes by walk-over, it is now time for the Famous Thirteen to make the hard decision to travel to Cusco next week or not.
The other aspirant, Atlético Grau, currently finds itself on a nine-points uphill battle for the coveted seventh place. It was unable to defeat Alianza Atlético at a full to the brim Campeones del 36. Grau’s Luis Benítez slapped Alianza’s Accel Campos seconds into the beginning of the match while he was right in front of the referee. Even though the judge saw the offense happen right in front of him, Campos still felt the need to let him know the pain he was going through. Thus, he proceeded to let himself drop to the ground in a delayed reaction worthy of the worst middle school play ever seen. Right away the crowd knew this would be a good derby between the two Piura representatives.
The Sullana side managed to score its first goal on the 37th minute from a very quick counter attack which saw our Academy Award winning actor Accel Campos score with his left foot into the far-right post. The locals also increased their lead before half-time via Jorge Ramírez’s head. Third would happen shortly after the beginning of the second half as Jair Córdova outsmarted a mediocre defense by receiving a pass with his heel which he then went on to score upon. The young Alianza Lima-trained player has much yet to offer.
Grau’s hope of turning things around came during the last ten minutes of the match when the homeside turned down the heat. Gino Navarro and Luis Rojas scored to wonderful goals that were not enough as the game came to an end. Logic dictates that the rest of Los Albos’ games will be played for honor’s sake than because of any real chances left for them in this their maiden season in the second division.
Let Us Play with the Old Dice…
The leader of the pack, Cesar Vallejo, was not able experience the sweet taste of revenge after drawing against Hualgayoc. Last season, all the Trujillo-side needed was nothing more than a draw on the road against Hualgayoc on the very last matchday to obtain the championship and return to the First Division. César Zambrano spoiled their plans on the 68th minute. Just seconds before the end of the match, as the rain came down, Andy Pando had the opportunity they needed on a penalty kick that he was unable to convert.
With that memory in mind Vallejo made the trip to Cajamarca. Only that this time around they needed to win and yet only acquired an uninteresting scoreless draw. Los Poetas had plenty of chances which their altitude-sick forwards were unable to finish.
Veni, vidi, vici
We did enjoy a plethora of goals elsewhere, which is making things interesting as the distance between the top seven continues to shorten. Carlos A. Manucci did its due diligence at home and defeated Los Caimanes by 3 to 1. The home side was received by a great group of fans. Los Caimanes scored first and suddenly. The first of three was a clear penalty which Johnny Carbajal the yellow and, two minutes ready, the red for protesting the referee’s decision. The veteran Renzo Sheput was key in both of the next goals. The first was a goal by him and the second an assistance from his left foot right into Naranjo’s head who nailed the ball into the net.
Cienciano defeated Sport Loreto on the road by the minimum score. Their goal was a work of art in which is too hard for me to describe but that you must most certainly look up on YouTube. El Papá is only one point away from Vallejo’s first place on the table.
Is this the End?
Similarly, on the opposite end of the table, Sport Victoria managed to break the deadlock between it and Sport Loreto by one point. That single point could be worth life and death in weeks to come. In the meantime, the Ucayali side joins the deader than dead Serrato Pacasmayo. The last must now make the hard decision to face Cienciano on the road next week for the love of the game or to accumulate a second walk-over and say goodbye to the tournament once and for all.