by J.P. Devetori
Universitario defeated Cantolao in what was a rocky match. The “U” finally ended the 2 year winless drought vs Cantolao but it took a lot of luck than expected.
The first half of the match was a bit complicated when Cantolao had more control of possession as well as winning 50/50 chances. The “U” also messed up many scoring chances and looked sloppy when they had their few counter attacks. Things turned around when Cantolao midfielder Diego Ramirez received a direct red card after he flagrantly stopped a wide open scoring opportunity for Universitario. The first half also had many bad referee calls such as not awarded the “U” a penalty after footage showed proof that the Cremas earned a penalty.
The second half was all Universitario. Coming in with a 11 men over 10 advantage, Universitario extended their advantage to 2 after another red card for Cantolao (defender Alonso Ramirez), thus making it 11 men over 9 in favor of Universitario. The “U” started scoring beginning when they were awarded a penalty after Piero Quispe was fouled in the penalty area. The 2021 main penalty taker, Nelinho Quina, scored the decisive penalty to give the “U” the first goal of the 2022 season. Alex Valera, the 2021 leading goalscorer, scored 2 minutes later to make it 2-0 Crema. Valera’s goal came by an indirect kick pass and he was wide open since the 11 on 9 advantage helped him become wide open. 3 minutes later, newcomer Joao Villamarin scored a long goal from outside the box to make it 3-0 in the 76th minute. With less than 15 minutes to go of the match, the “U” had a commanding 3-0 lead and kept it, a clean sheet to start the season for Jose Carvallo.
Team performance rating: B-
The first half was a bit concerning since we lost many 50/50 balls, the starters were not focused, and Cantolao was more physical but then Cantolao’s tough physical plays cost them the match. Cantolao’s 2 red card paved the way for Universitario to command a dominant 3-0 victory. The “U” needs to improve more on winning 50/50 balls and strengthen their chemistry. More communication is also a need for the “U” in their next match vs San Martin. I expect a better performance especially under new manager Álvaro Gutierrez.
Next match will be on Friday vs Universidad San Martin at 7pm in the mythical Estadio Monumental.