Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not The Result We Were Looking For

Well, the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana Quarterfinal between Newell's Old Boys and LDU Quito has got to be called a success for the team from Ecuador. They came out and played like they were looking for a 0-0 tie, and that's exactly what they got.

Mauricio Sperdutti was the best player of the game, but when the opposition decides to pack eight men behind the ball, there really isn't much you can expect to do. Sure, Mauro Fórmica did not produce much, but he often found himself surrounded by four men dressed in white when he had the ball anywhere near the Quito penalty area. Borghello had a few decent chances, but nothing where he was a clear threat to score. Bringing in Taborda and La Pulga Rodriguez on late in the game added nothing new to the offense that was simple smothered by the visiting teams ultra defensive tactics. I still have to say that Taborda may as well be a tree stump in the middle of the pitch.

Really, there's only a couple of points of interest that stand out in my memory from this match. The first is the head injury to Carlos "Chino" Luna. He was going up against Rolando Schiavi for a head ball, never a bright thing to do, and fell so that when Schiavi came down from his leap to head the ball Luna's head was right under the right foot of El Flaco. No foul was committed, nor called, but Chino was left with one side of his face nearly covered in his own blood. The cut was attended to on the sidelines, and he returned to the pitch, looking much like a pirate... all he needed was a parrot and an eye patch to complete the effect.

Other than that, Lucas Bernardi lost his temper twice in the first half. The first time it was quickly dealt with by the intervention of his teammates. Unfortunately the second time, after a rather mundane foul on Borghello was called, resulted in a yellow card for the veteran midfielder. The defender argued the call, and Bernardi proceed to get into a bit of a shoving match with him. Soon enough there was a bit of a meeting of the minds on the field as both teams congregated to discuss the matter.

Quito midfielder William Araujo also received a yellow card for this little get together, though I'm not sure why. Things were kind of happening faster than I could follow at that point.

All in all, though, the card situation did fall in Newell's favor. I'm not sure how many cards the individual players have, but only Bernardi and Mateo picked up yellows, while Quito had six players carded. I hope that this will not effect Newell's double fives from playing in the second leg, and if even one or two Quito players have to sit it out you will not see me crying about it.

So, it's on to the second leg... but first Newell's will be facing Godoy Cruz in the match that had been scheduled for last weekend, but now will be played this weekend.

Oh, and one final word. I once again have to question Roberto Sensini on his sanity. He once again replaced a defender, Ignacio Fideleff, to bring on an additional striker Sebastián Taborda. I really don't understand this move. Why not just have Nacho move forward? While he hasn't scored in some time, he has still looked more dangerous in scoring situation than I have ever seen the Great Tree Stump look.


Jeremy said...

LDU will play looser at home and NOB will have a chance to strike. And if they don't, I'll take my chances on a shoot out with Peratta in goal any day.

David Phillips said...

I was thinking the same thing, Jeremy, but didn't have the time to write it (I got to bed late as it is... it was a rough work day today, as I now seem to be fighting a bit of a cold on top of the lack of sleep.)

Also, we have to remember that the second leg will be at altitude. Not as drastic as Newell's faced against San Jose, but still not what they are use to.