Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cerro beat Nacional in a game to forget

After a week long break in Uruguay's Primera División, CA Cerro and Nacional returned to action in the Estadio Troccoli. While the pitch wasn't in form and looked like a potato field post-harvesting, you could not say the same about Nacional.

Inexcusable pitch for Cerro vs Nacional. (Photo: @PasionTricolor1)
Twice in one week, Uruguay's champion celebrated wins in the Copa Libertadores over Palmeiras (Germancopa reported). Regardless of the most recent triumphs, Cerro was expected to be a very uncomfortable opponent, as they went into week 6 equal on points with Nacional. Interestingly enough, their goal difference going into this one was 4-2. Expecting a low scoring game, anyone?


Yesterday, the Bolso supporters received magnificent news from the international front as three current players were called up to the Uruguayan squad ahead of World Cup qualification against Brazil and Peru. Regular Jorge Fucile was joined by Mauricio Victorino and, well deservedly, by captain Diego Polenta. All three of them were on the pitch today and joined by striker Leo Gamalho for his starting XI debut. Gamalho replaced Seba Fernández who received a breather, as did Kevin Ramírez who was replaced by Tabó. 

First Half

Any word about the first half is one too much. On the worst football pitch I've ever seen in my life, no playing or passing was possible. It came down to some bounces both ways that did not turn into dangerous chance. Just once, Nacional came close to scoring. Countering 3 against 2, Tabó elected to shoot and saw his attempt deflected against the crossbar by a Cerro defender. One could only hope it would get better, but honestly my hopes were not too high.

Second Half

Sadly, I was right. The game continued to be an awful mess, highlighted early on in the second half by two challenges that should have gotten Andrés Barboza sent off, but didn't. More excitement in the 56th minute, when Barcia was clearly fouled right on the left edge of the area, but referee Rojas disagreed on the obvious fact.

Nacional's only real chance of the second half came after over an hour, when Leo Gamalho tried his luck with a nice looking solo run through Cerro's backlines, but his shot was comfortably saved at the end.

For the last ten minutes, Cerro was the better team. Barboza had a bad attempt going wide after being played through by Rodrigo Izquierdo. The latter then shot a freekick towards the bottom right corner and was countered by goalkeeper Esteban Conde.

The following corner was swung in to the near post and Cerro really scored a goal. A set piece was the only way it would happen today and Conde did not look good when he came out to attack the cross. Luis Urruti was on it the quickest and headed it into the net. It remained the last action of this actionless affair. 1-0 Cerro was your final score.


Substitute Fernández had no impact for Nacional, but had it very difficult up front in this game. Ignacio González and Matías Cabrera were brought on too late to make a difference, after Cerro had scored their goal already.

While players such as Gamalho and Barcia tried their best to get something going up front, it was very hard to do today, mainly due to the pitch. The home team got the lucky winner that could only come from a set piece.

The bottom line were sadly 90 wasted minutes, unlike painful two hours are just your thing. I hope for everyone in this league that Cerro finds the money for a new pitch and does so soon.


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