Antonio Romero Saltarega Yo Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Emelek endured seventy-nine minutes in a crowded Minerao and a penalty from Hulk (1-0) meant the billionaires were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores at the hands of Atletico Mineiro, a team that has been the hardest to beat at home in recent seasons. It has 56,421 fans this Tuesday.
Benefiting from the goallessness of the locals before the only goal of the game, the Electric team fell by a narrow margin in Belo Horizonte and bid farewell to the continental tournament with a 2-all loss in the Round of 16. -1, after a draw at 1 o’clock in Guayaquil.
In the Minas Gerais situation, Atlético led the offensive from the start. Within the first quarter of an hour, Hulk showed that he has not only physical strength, but also good technique. At first, the right-handed hitter escaped Marlon Mejia’s futile tip on the end line, but he didn’t find a receiver for a potential assist; Later, he got into the area and shot through the placement, but goalkeeper Pedro Ortiz flew to clear.
A corner kick from Ortiz’s block sent the ball into the area before the Ecuadorian defense cleared.
The cast of Minas Gerais tried on different fronts, with Hulk at the center and in the wings. However, he has no goal at the auction. Meanwhile, Emelek found no space to attack and limited himself to sending long passes to Alejandro Cabeza, who was too far away, although he won everything through the air, although it was not important.
With less than half an hour to go in the game, Ortiz had to launch himself again to clear a header from Gallo, then again controlled another weak shot from the home side that suffered from inaccuracy.
It wasn’t until 36 minutes later that Emelek threatened the match goal. Colombian Alexis Zapata took a left-footed effort from outside the area, but the ball went over Everson’s goal.
The black and white fans who responded overwhelmingly to the event never stopped voicing their disagreements with the refereeing decisions against Atlético.
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The patience of massa Atletico lasted 55 minutes. Since then, the demand for their players has been high and they have made it known with claims from the stands. At that time, chants of “Kalo, Kalo, Kalo…” were heard more than ever before.
Although Atletico had more than a dozen shots, Emelek fired three shots past the post in the 63rd minute. Uruguay captain Sebastian Rodriguez was encouraged to shoot from outside the area, but Everson was fine.
The lucky moment came when Eddie Guerra tried to mark Eduardo Vargas, who was threatening to cross from the left, and the center referee allowed the maximum penalty.
Hulk missed a penalty due to Ortiz’s save in the first leg to collect from eleven metres. This time, Gallo’s main man was unforgiving and lifted the net (79th minute), on the opposite side of what he tried last week in Guayaquil.
The celebration in Minerao was deafening as Atlético qualified for the quarter-finals of the Libertadores for the fifth time in their history.
Antonio Mohamed’s men looked for another goal at the end, but to no avail. Ismael Rescalvo’s men never found options against a club that had lost three games in the last three seasons at the Gigante de Pampulha. (D)