Athletico stayed in a goalless draw against students on Thursday, at Arena da Baixada, for the first leg, and left the Libertadores quarter-finals open.
The return match is scheduled for Thursday, August 11, at 9:30 pm, at Jorge Luís Hirschi, in La Plata, Argentina. The winner of the match picks Atlético-MG or Palmeiras in the semifinals.
The Hurricane pressed, especially in the final stage, but could not take advantage. The Atletico team had a penalty and a goal disallowed by the referee, one in each half, both after VAR intervened in the plays.
Pincha, on the other hand, held up well in the defense, with few spaces offered, and still took some dangers, especially in the aerial balls. A result that showed balance in the confrontation.
We had a good participation, we played, we created. We will play with our team in a position to make the opposing team feel our quality as well. We have the possibility of victory, as they can also have. They are very similar teams, although with different characteristics. An open game.
— Felipão, in a press conference
Athletico vs Estudiantes: Pablo didn’t have space with the strong marking — Photo: Staff Images / CONMEBOL
Athletico saw Estudiantes score in 5-4-1 and block their actions. With little space, the red-black team didn’t have the patience to open the opponent and didn’t bother in the first half. The two most dangerous arrivals were from set pieces.
Khellven crossed, Cuello avoided the exit at the second post and sent it with a head back. The ball hit Godoy’s arm, and the referee Jesús Valenzuela (VEN) scored the penalty, but later turned back by VAR, commanded by Julio Bascuñan (CHI). Then, from a foul, Khellven and Cuello forced Andújar to make good saves.
Estudiantes, who faced a defensive 4-4-2 from Hurricane, was uncomfortable in the quick transition by Abner’s side. Castro received on the right and kicked out. In the aerial ball, Argentina’s main weapon, Felipão’s men were three in the small area, with the rest in individual marking. Lollo, in one of them, was not marked by the great intervention of Bento.
At the return of the break, Athletico tried to be more aggressive and continued without offering offensive alternatives in the face of performances below Terans and Canobbio. Thus, the alternative was to kick from outside the area, with Cuello, Terans and Fernandinho, all without danger.
In errors in the exit of the ball, Piatti had two opportunities in a row: he hit one on top of Bento and the other gave a touch for coverage out. Felipão then put Vitor Roque and Alex Santana on, and the Atletico team improved. Cittadini and Vitinho were activated in the sequence and also contributed to the growth.
Roque started to move a lot in the last row of Estudiantes and opened gaps, with Khellven more driven. The side crossed for Cittadini to deflect with his head close to the post, Fernandinho headed and Pedro Henrique completed out, and in two other shots blocked by the opposing system.
With so much insistence, Khellven took a corner kick, Roque missed the header and returned to him to cross Thiago Heleno’s head. The defender scored the net, but the VAR check showed the side was offside. In the end, from a foul, Khellven passed close to the goal, while Pellegrino did the same after Pedro Henrique cut the ball badly.
If we could get out of here with a positive result and take the dispute to Argentina, it would be much better. The result is not controlled, but you control the way you enter the field. Next week, the team will be much more prepared to seek that classification.
— Fernandinho, in a press conference
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O athletic return to the field against Atlético-MG on Sunday, at 7 pm, at Mineirão, for the 21st round of the Brasileirão. Hurricane is fourth with 34 points.