The Fight for the Top
The Segunda División remains interesting as the gap between those that will be disputing the play-off and those that will try to save themselves from relegation grows with every matchday.
The two most important matches happened on Sunday. Cesar Vallejo visited Unión Huaral at the Julio Lores Colán, while Cienciano travelled to face Alfredo Salinas at the Municipal of Espinar.
In the latter match, the early moments were intense. Whichever side was able to stabilize themselves tactically would come out on top. Ronald Quinteros was able to obtain a penalty for Los Poetas which Carlos Orejuela capitalized into a goal. Yet their happiness would not last for long as Raziel García then ended up running the bottom of his cleat down Huaral’s Roberto Rodriguez which earned him a red card.
Almost instantaneously, coach José del Solar restructured Cesar Vallejo by ordering a defensive strategy with a five-men defense. The equalizer would come shortly before the end of the first half by way of a hefty Cristofer Soto who scored via header after a free kick right outside the penalty box. The game was set for Unión Huaral for the second half as they managed to break down Vallejo’s defense. Yet their lack of accuracy and organization up top is what in the end costed them two points at home.
Simultaneously, Cienciano had a feast at Espinar. The first goal came a scarce 1 minute into the game from Paolo Méndez after a corner kick. Junior Viza managed to score a second within 5 minutes of the first. It was obvious that Cienciano was not affected by the Estadio Municipal’s altitude as has been the case of other teams which dread their trip to Espinar. Salinas was clearly demoralized for the rest of the game and their coach Juan Jayo was unable to find a solution to the issue. Cienciano was able to score another 3 in what became a soliloquy of a game. Thus, the gap before first and second on the table shortens. There is a chance that Cienciano might pull the unimaginable and snatch Cesar Vallejo’s ticket to the semifinals.
A Shameful Defeat
The saddest game to watch was the one played between Serrato Pacasmayo and Deportivo Coopsol. The Pacasmayo side is currently on free fall. Coopsol scored 8 goals in total with five of those happening in the first half. Serrato showed up with only 12 players to the game. Professional players deserve to be treated better. Serrato’s players have so far given us all an example of loyalty above all rest. Let’s just hope that the league will not turn a blind eye to the situation and make the club owners responsible for the precarious embarrassing situation the club finds itself in.
The Rest of the Pack
In other results, Hualgayoc defeated Atlético Grau by a score of 2-0. Both goals where score within the first 25 minutes of the match. Only ten minutes later, Jean Paul Maraví earned two yellow cards for silly and irresponsible offenses and thus left the locals with only ten on the pitch.
Sport Loreto, who has also experience financial difficulties as of late, continues to fight to avoid relegation. This week they defeated Los Caimanes at home by a score of 4-3. Johan Sotil and Carlos Barrena used their wisdom to carry the team forward and managed to overcome all difficulties after Loreto’s walk-over defeat from last week.
Juan Aurich was not to defeat Sport Victoria at home on the day of their 96th anniversary. A disappointing 1-1 was the final score between the two sides. Victoria currently fighting for relegation along side Sport Loreto. Aurich, on the other hand, has managed to cling to the last ticket to the play-offs. Luckily for them, the gap between them and number 8 is big enough that if everything goes as expected they have nothing to fear.
Celebrations continue at the new Campeones del ’36 Stadium as the home side, Alianza Atlético, defeated Cultural Santa Rosa 4-0. As the season comes to an end we hope to continue to see fans turn out to see the Sullana side. The excitement is guaranteed to continue until the end. While we already know who the seven teams that will be advancing to the promotion play-off are, it will be very interesting to see who will end-up paired up with who for the quarterfinals and if Cienciano will be able to take Vallejo’s spot as number 1.