Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Sebastián Peratta did everything in his power to give Newell's Old Boys a chance of making it past LDU Quito. It was not the loan goal that got past him that knocked La Lepra out of the Copa Sudamericana, it was the experience of playing in continental competition that the team from Equador brought with them.

You see, Newell's Old Boys, until this past year, had not qualified for such sense they won the 2004 Aperutura. Ealier this year Newell's qualified for the Copa Libertadores, but were knocked out in the first round. In qualifying for the Copa Sudamericana, facing Estudiantes de La Plata in the first round did not give much hope of making any further. To then make it to the Quarterfinals is an achievement. To have the misfortune to then have to face Quito... they won this same tournament last year, the Copa Libertadores the year before that, and have won the Recopa Sudamericana (match held between the previous years Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana winners) two years in a row, 2009 and 2010.

The man of the match, despite giving up the losing goal has to go to Newell's goalkeeper. If not for San Peratta de los Arqueros heroics the score line could well have been far greater. The goal that  was the difference could not have been saved by any goalkeeper on Earth, living, dead, or yet to be born. Flaco, you deserved a better result. Unfortunately the miracle that was needed was at the other end of the pitch.

That is not to say that the team did not play well. Newell's problems, in my opinion, is the lack of a true goal scorer (oh, how we miss you Joaquín Boghossian.) There is also the lack of a threat from outside the penalty area. Yes, both Sperdutti and Formica are capable of doing so, but seldom do they take such shots. That is where we miss Vangioni, who, while he has not scored in some time, and is currently injuried, is known for taking a shot or two at range during a match.

The one disappointing thing about this match is that Newell's did have a chance to draw level, and thus make it past the Quarterfinals on away goals, during the last minute of the game. At this point I do not recall who was fouled, I'm am up way past my bed time, but the ensuing freekick should have been more dangerous than it was. I do not even recall who took it.

And so Newell's return to Rosario with no reason to be ashamed. Disappointed, certainly, but there is still reason to play on. The Apertura has six games remaining, Newell's are fighting to once again qualify for the Copa Libertadores, and there is still a chance at the Apertura title should Estudiantes and Vélez Sarsfield falter. Up next Racing Club visit Estadio Marcelo Bielsa on Sunday.

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