Sunday, February 7, 2016

Nacional win 3:0 - Many answers, but questions remain

Nico López celebrates his goal against Villa Teresa. (photo from @nacional)

Uruguay's record champions Club Nacional de Football started into the Clausura yesterday. A 3-0 win over Villa Teresa was mostly comfortable, but some parts of the game left supporters and experts doubtful concerning this team. 

Nacional will most likely open the new season as second in the league. So far, so good. Goals from Santiago Romero, Leandro Barcia and Nico López gave the visitors a 0-3 victory in Maldonado. Still, not everything that shines is also gold. 

Especially the injury of Erik Cabaco in his debut for the club could hurt assuming he is out longer. He instantly had to be taken off towards the end of the first half, being replaced by experienced returnee and former Uruguayan international Mauricio Victorino. 

Victorino himself did not look good at all. He gave the ball away easily way too many times, had problems with his timing and accuracy. His colleague and new team captain Diego Polenta had to help out several times to ensure defensive safety. Not even the calming influence of goalkeeper Esteban Conde seemed to do him any good. 

If you want to look at bright sides in the game, look no further than new central striker Nico López. After he could not fully break through in Europe, he returned to Nacional until at least June, and did just fine. He scored a goal, finishing clinically. One more time, he was through on goal, but just offside. No doubt, that he would have finished that one as well, as he was by the goalkeeper already.

New left winger Kevin Ramírez convinced for the most part as well. He knows the league well coming from Montevideo Wanderers and looks to fill one of the Apertura's gaping holes. He's speedy and tricky and showed just that on the pitch, even if not everything he tried worked out.

In the long run, you can well wonder, if the rather diminuative front 3 have got what it takes for all situations. Especially when falling behind and increased amounts of long balls are a mean, they do not look like the prime option to play with. Maybe Juan Mascia's role will improve when Nacional find themselves in such positions.

Meanwhile, Santiago "Colo" Romero was his usual effective self, even getting on the scoresheet once again. He cleans up where there isn't even anything to clean up. Defensive midfield colleague Gonzalo Porras was not as strong, but good, in a performance that was enough to get by pretty weak opposition. 

Without the individual mistakes at the back, Nacional's overall performance was not great, but pretty solid, particularly in the second half.

Next week, Nacional will visit River Plate, who will have played again during midweek in the Copa Libertadores first round. A tired opponent, maybe?

Make sure you follow Germancopa on Twitter for all live updates and to never miss any post. 


Post a Comment