Nov 13, 2007

Copa Sudamericana Semis: Millonarios Face Tough Task In Return Leg

Bogotá's Millonarios have their work cut out for them in tonight's return leg of the Copa Sudamericana semifinals, as they travel to face Mexico City's Club America with a 3-2 deficit from the Nov. 6 first leg. For U.S. audiences, the game will air at 9pm EST on Fox Sports en Español. The game is being played in Toluca because America's home grounds, the legendary Estadio Azteca, is hosting some kind of religious festivity, if I understood the Spanish from this article correctly (and I probably didn't).

Millonarios will be without their captain, midfielder Gerardo Bedoya, who injured himself in the first leg. From what I understand he's their only key absence. Club América will be short at least two key players, as Salvador Cabañas and Federico Insúa were called to duty by the Paraguayan and Argentine national teams, respectively. Beyond that, the Mexico City side have another game less than 48 hours after the conclusion of this one (against Morelia in the Liguilla, which is what they call the play-off to get into the Apertura's postseason) so they could be a bit hesitant to go full speed. Their manager, Daniel Brailovsky, did rest key individuals last weekend, including star goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. But I think the starting defenders are all first-stringers, which makes sense seeing as the Colombian will be attacking from the word go. If they don't "look past" Millos (to use a cliché common to American sports) Club América should be able to advance.

It would be the third year in a row a Mexican side plays in the tournament's finale: In 2005, Pumas lost to Boca Juniors and last year Pachuca beat Chile's Colo Colo. Whoever advances would face either Arsenal de Sarandi or River Plate, who played a scoreless draw in their first leg match. The return leg of that match-up will go off tomorrow night.

No comments:

Post a Comment