by J.P. Devetori
Universitario hosts rivals Sporting Cristal in what is another important match in the Apertura season. A tie or loss will jeopardize our Apertura chances, or pretty much end them. After a disappointing draw vs Carlos Manucci, the ‘U’ seeks to avenge the previous result into a much needed win vs one of our biggest rivals. And what better place to do it at the majestic Estadio Monumental in front of many passionate crema fans.
With almost the same lineup as last week, the only major difference is the absence of Aldo Corzo due to yellow card accumulation. The U needs to be secure on defense since this is a well-stacked Cristal team that have a couple key offensive stars like former crema Cristofer Gonzales and Horacio Calcaterra. I know this has been said a bunch of times before but this is a match that the cremas need to dominate possession in order for us to build plays to score. This is a match that we must sail away with an early lead, not a 1-1 halftime score.
It’s been 4 years since the ‘U’ last defeated Cristal, the last time was since the 2018 Torneo Descentralizado. Today is a perfect day to finally end that drought and remain in the Apertura race. Other results that we need to rely on in order for the ‘U’ to inch closer to the point of the Apertura is to have Alianza Atletico lose to Atletico Grau, Melgar lose to Ayacucho, and Sport Huancayo lose to Binacional. If those result happen, then the ‘U’ would be 1 point behind first place Melgar.
Kickoff is at 7pm Peru time (8pm ET, 5pm PT) at the Estadio Monumental. Post match recap will be posted tomorrow.