Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Saves Give Emelec Win

Last time I checked Superman was named Clark by Ma and Pa Kent, and his place of birth was the planet Krypton. Turns out that's not true, that he was born in Ecuador, his name is Marcelo Elizaga, and he plays goal for Emelec. If not for his spectacular display Emelec surely would not be walking into the group stage of the Copa Libertadores with a 2-1 win over Newell's Old Boys.

Newell's played well, and truly did not deserve to lose. At the half the score was still 0-0, but the halftime highlights told the story, four quality chances for Newell's, while Emelec only managed one.

Joao Rojas took advantage of a flatfooted Newell's defense in the first minute of the second half to put Emelec up 1-0. As I recall, there was at least two time that Newell's suffered this fate during the Apertura. Just one more thing for Sensini to work on. Six minutes later saw Hugo Barrientos score his first goal for La Lepra to even things up at one goal a piece. Had that score held, Newell's would have won on away goals.

That wasn't to be, as Carlos Quiñónez scored the winner for Emelec in the 66th minute. Even though Newell's lost, they had the better of the play through out the game. Even after veteran defender Rolando Schiavi was given a red card in 85th minute (presumably for arguing the yellow he had just been given) Newell's pressed the attack. In the end, the difference was the quality of Emelec's keeper. It's rare for me to mention a man of the match that isn't a Newell's player, but Elizaga deserves all the praise he is no doubt reaping. That said, Newell's best player was Mauro "El Gato" Fórmica, and the third best player on the field was former Newell's player Pablo Perez.
Question is, where was this Perez when he played for Newell's? Had he shown this kind of quality for La Lepra, I doubt that the would have let him go so easily.

Ah, well, hindsight is 20/20, as they say. At least now the team can focus on the Clausura. Considering that with the World Cup this summer the championship is being compressed, the added matches that would have been played had Newell's gone on to the Libertadores group stage would have been more than exhausting.

Up next, it's on to the Diego Armando Maradona stadium to face Argentinos Jrs on Monday... you know, I've always found it a bit ironic that the team that Diego first played for has named their stadium after him, but he only talks about playing for two teams in Argentina. Those teams? Boca Jrs, and Newell's Old Boys.

1 comment:

David Phillips said...

Correction: Marcelo Elizaga was born in Argentina, but his parents were from Ecuador.

That's what I get for trusting ESPNDeportes.