Matchday 24 of the Seguna División was full of draws. This greatly inflated the victories of those who where able to achieve them – two on the pitch and one via walk-over – over the rest of the pack.
There are, in life, such hard blows . . .
The most worrying case is that of Cesar Vallejo, who continues to lose the comfortable lead it had achieved during the first half of the tournament. Juan Aurich, on the other hand, arrived at Casa Grande ready for battle with the knowledge that some of Vallejo’s key players like Raziel García and Álvaro Medrano would not be on the pitch due to yellow card accumulation.
Vallejo controlled the flow of the match for the first 20 minutes. Then, the Chiclayo side took courage and scored two counter-attacking goals, which caught the defence off guard at the worst of times.
El Ciclón’s third strike was just as bad of a tactical blunder as the first two. Vallejo’s defenders bumped into each other and failed to pay attention to the man with the coolest-sounding name in Peruvian football, Rick Campodónico. He went on to score an effortless goal on a one-on-one against the goalkeeper and sealed the fate of the game before halftime.
Los Poetas’ consolation prize came after Juan Aurich’s centre-backs could not think of a better way to defend the ball than to become karateka. One of their defensive kicks hit Ronald Quinteros square on the chest which was plenty of reason for the referee to award a penalty that Carlos Orejuela proceeded to convert.
I am nothing but a poor sailor
The other victory of the day happened up north in Piura as Atlético Grau faced Alfredo Salinas. The first two of the four goals came within the first 15 minutes of the game via Luis Celis and Felipe Mesones. Salinas was clearly disoriented, the representative of the Cusco Region showed up with only 14 players, of which only one was substituted in. Yet Grau turned off the motor and stalled for the rest of the first half and even half of the second. It was bluntly obvious that Grau’s victory was due more to the terrible condition of its rival than the team’s own merit.
This was shown when Salinas’ Jean Rodriguez was sent off in the 54th minute because of a silly mistake. Suddenly, Los Albos decided to pick up the pace and scored two more during the last ten minutes of the game.
The only highlight was probably the last goal by Josue Rodriguez, who scored off a masterful free-kick with his left foot right into the left corner of the net.
Meanwhile, Los Caimanes waited for their rival in Chongoyape. The Puerto Etén team came out to the field in their full uniform, kicked the balled around for a few minutes and then lined up to wait. Just like with many a college class, Los Caimanes waited for fifteen minutes at which time the assigned referee blew his whistle and declared the game was over.
The rival, Serrato Pacasmayo, never showed up. Last week it lost by eight goals with only 12 players. It seems like whoever remained on the team decided not to make the trip to the Estadio de la Juventud.
Would’ve, Should’ve, Could’ve
The rest of the games where cases of should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.
Sport Loreto should’ve defeated Santa Rosa on the road, but conceded a two-goal lead to the home side during injury time. In the end, a meager point doesn’t seem to help either side. Loreto continues to be tied with Sport Victoria, who also should have won, in the relegation battle while Santa Rosa isn’t any closer to the last playoff ticket.
Cienciano could’ve won their match against Alianza Atlético if they had been more organized. Its goal came in the 12th minute through a Hail Mary shot from some 30-to-40 meters away. Alianza bunkered down on defence and levelled the tie by the 70th minute. Unfortunately, Cienciano was not able to figure out the key to the puzzle and had to walk away with a tie.
Lastly Carlos A. Mannucci could’ve maintained a 1–0 victory on the road after Deportivo Coopsol saw Ichiro Plasencia sent off during the first half. Yet the home side managed to hold Mannucci off, and even scored, to save the day.
The top half of the table looks like a game of chutes and ladders in which Cesar Vallejo no longer has the advantage it used to own. Fortune also seems to favour Atlético Grau and Santa Rosa, who still have a chance of snatching Juan Aurich’s or Alianza Atlético’s golden ticket if the two are not careful. All this while Sport Victoria and Sport Loreto pray and hope that the other will slip up and join a very dead Serrato Pacasmayo in the relegation zone. Clearly there is much still to come.