Thursday, December 10, 2015

Penalty thriller - Santa Fe win Copa Sudamericana

Santa Fe have reached their goal: After two goalless draws against Huracán, the Colombians have won the Copa Sudamericana in a penalty shootout, 3-1, at home.


Champions: Santa Fe celebrate their first Copa Sudamericana title.

The game itself was not the greatest, as it often is in the finals of big competitions. In the first half, Huracán did surprisingly well and had the biggest early chance. In the first minute, striker Rámon Abila might want to have  one back. Home goalkeeper Robinson Zapata made a mess of a back pass and did not get rid of the ball in time. It was deflected towards the goal by Abila, the Argentine went after the ball just to put it wide again across the face of the goal.

Apart from that mishap, Santa Fe controlled the early goings without showing too much offensively. While both teams’ midfielders had tons of time for their passes, they still were not accurate enough and did not exactly offer the fans any spectacle.

The best chance for the Colombians came in the 42nd minute, when Daniel Angulo headed a Seijas corner towards the goal, but into the catching arms of Marcos Díaz. The Argentinian guests defended so well that it remained the only chance of Santa Fe before halftime.

Luis Seijas did not like that very much and thought “let’s get to them earlier now” at the start of the second half. His dropkick was saved with some extra work by Díaz. Four minutes later, Juan Daniel Roa had the next chance for the hosts, but was kept from shooting in the last second.

As time went on, the match got worse and worse. No teams was willing to make any decisive mistakes and therefore a nervous midfield battle was the logical consequence.

The Colombians were the only team with further chances, substitute Omar Pérez clearly helped out his colleagues with his technical class. He was unlucky that Wilson Morelo was offside after his excellent through ball. Since noone showed any more quality moments, the game went to extra-time.

That extra time was highly eventless. Well, apart from an extremely stupid red card from Rámon Abila. Inexplicably, he completely lost his cool and punched the opposing player in the stomach from behind. A heavy loss for the guests for the upcoming penalty shootout.

It was a one-sided affair and left Santa Fe in a euphoric state. Huracán missed three out of four penalties, through Bogado, Nervo and Toranzo. Only Federico Mancinelli was successful with his attempt. Since Omar Pérez, Luis Seijas and Leyvin Balanta were all scoring, the title of the Copa Sudamericana goes to Santa Fe and to Colombia for the first time in history.


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