Even in the old and beaten cliché of the “glass half full or empty” it is difficult to analyze the 1-1 draw between Atlético-MG and Emelec, this Tuesday. Was it good or bad? Result to be celebrated or lamented? Victory that escaped through the fingers in the penalty missed by Hulk or defeat avoided after Allan’s expulsion? On the seesaw of emotions in Guayaquil, there are arguments for any answer.
Perhaps the last feeling weighs more on the fan, who went from euphoria to disappointment in the penalty wasted by Hulk, already in the 42nd minute of the final stage. But even the most optimistic of the athleticans knew that, until that moment, due to the circumstance of the second half, the draw was a profit. And that’s why, after the game, Turco stressed numerous times that the most important thing was “not to lose”.
“We had opportunities to win the game and we weren’t able to. But the most important thing is that we didn’t lose.
In fact, the scenario for the return match, next Tuesday, is good for Galo. In front of their fans, Atlético will need a simple victory to advance to the quarterfinals of the Libertadores. It is a better team, it will be even stronger and will have the atmosphere of Mineirão in its favor. But it needs to confirm favoritism on the field.
Hulk; Emelec vs Atlético-mg — Photo: Pedro Souza/Atlético
George Capwell lacked just that. And it was 35 minutes of a high level performance, with extreme intelligence to explore the rival’s own merits and weaknesses. Not much possession of the ball, but well positioned to explore the attack vertically, in transition. So the goal came out, after 15 minutes.
From Everson to Ademir, passing through Hulk and Nacho, it only took seven touches of the ball in eight seconds of possession until the goal party. The third of shirt 19 in the last four games for Galo. A trajectory, which until very recently was one of criticism, is on the rise.
Atletico could have expanded with Hulk shortly afterwards, but missed it – the first indication that it was not the night for him to score. He retreated too much and started to allow, in his own mistakes, that Emelec grew. In the first half, Sebastián and Jackson Rodríguez could have drawn, but they missed.
Ademir celebrates Atlético-MG’s goal against Emelec — Photo: Pedro Souza/Atlético
In the second half, individual mistakes transformed the game. First of Nathan Silva, who raised his arm too much in the aerial dispute inside the area and ended up committing a penalty in Cabeza – caught by VAR. Sebastián Rodriguez went for the ball and equalized.
Afterwards, Allan made a childish mistake by losing his temper and attacking Jackson Rodriguez in a throw without the ball. Red correctly applied after another VAR action – the defensive midfielder’s sixth sending-off since arriving at Atlético. In both cases, nothing to complain about arbitration.
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In numerical advantage and with the support of the crowd, Emelec went up. But the tactical disparity appeared. The home team had more volume, but even with one less, it was the Rooster who looked safer and got the best chances. All at Hulk’s feet.
The attacker tried in a long shot, but sent it out. He lined up in the rival defense and tried to touch the goalkeeper’s exit, but stopped at Ortíz. And of course, the missed penalty. In fact, it wasn’t his night to hit the net and reach Jô in Galo’s overall top scorer in Libertadores, but it was also far from a bad performance.
“Good draw, but the game wasn’t that good”, says Carol | The Voice of the Crowd
It may have stayed for the return game, next week, at Mineirão. As it may also have been for the decision of the Eternal Glory, at the end of October, the first victory in the history of Galo in Ecuador. The team only returns to the country in a possible final. But the way there is still long.
Galo remains a favorite to go to the quarterfinals, but will need to be more opportunistic to advance. You will have Mineirão in your favor. And the evaluation of this Tuesday’s result necessarily passes through next week. All right, Turk; the important thing was “don’t lose”. In Gigante, then, there is no alternative but to win.
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Galo na Veia – Atlético-MG Membership Program — Photo: Disclosure