This article is courtesy of COLO FUTBOL
ONCE CALDAS 2-3 MILLONARIOS
Millionairos end their season with a 3-2 victory away to Once Caldas, and now sit joint top of Group A with rivals Santa Fe.
Millos took the lead with a fantastic goal from the soon-to be departing Fredy Montero. After scoring two goals last week from the subs bench, he was handed a starting berth by coach Hernan Torres. The star rumoured to be signing for Sporting Lisbon later this week repaid him on 29 minutes. After Anderson Zapata cut out a ball in the middle of the pitch he played in Harrison Otalvaro on the edge of the box who fed Montero just inside the area, who curled a perfect shot past goalkeeper Juan Carlos Henao.
Millos were comfortable for the majority of the first half, but Caldas grabbed an equaliser just before half-time through Sergio Romero. Defender Harold Gómez pressed forward and played a wonderful through ball to Romero, whose first time shot fired past Luis Delgado for level the game up.
In the second-half it became an even match but the unfavoured Once Caldas took the lead with 25 minutes remaining. It was an excellent free-kick with the Liga Postobon has become famous for, the scorer was Jamell Ramos. Goalkeeper Delgado was unable to see due to his wall and got wrong footed as Ramos planted the ball home.
Millos for the second time in a week, came from behind to take all three points. Dynamic substitute Jose Luis Tancredi gained the equaliser after just being on the pitch for two minutes. A powerful 30 yard drive at goal gave Henao no chance in goal.
A minute later, another substitute Yúber Asprilla gave the away side the win. Some great work from Otalvaro put the ball on the plate for Asprilla and he fired home to win the match for Millos.
SANTA FE 1-1 DEPORTIVO CALI
Santa Fe, playing in the unfamiliar yellow shirts, once again rested the whole first team due to the Copa Libertadores semi-final return leg against Olimpia of Paraguay this Tuesday night. The ‘B-Team’ came through with a respectable draw against Deportivo Cali, although their Apertura final spot had already been confirmed.
An excellent goal gave Cali the lead on 51 minutes. Attacking full-back Victor Giraldo swung a first-time cross into the penalty area for the rising Miguel Murillo to soar above Germán Centurión at the back post to head home. It was a tremendous leap by Murillo that had Centurion sprawling across the floor trying to grab the jumping striker.
Leonel Alvarez’s men looked to have the three points until Emmanuel Molina equalised with a great volley with just 11 minutes remaining. Substitute Germán González planted a ball into the box from the left wing and Molina connected sweetly to bury the ball into the left corner of the devastated Johan Silva’s goal. Silva was left flat out like a depressed starfish.
It was a good point that gives Santa Fe coach Wilson Gutiérrez some food for thought for Tuesday’s game after some good performances from the so-called ‘B-Team’.
DEPORTES TOLIMA 0-1 ITAGÜI
Tolima failed to overcome Itagui and therefore missed the opportunity to finish top of Group B and due to Nacional’s win, Itagui’s hopes of a final against Santa Fe were dashed too.
Even though Tolima headed into the final day’s games of the Apertura Group B they failed to qualify for the final, and the profilic goalscoring record of Victor Cortés was once again in force hitting a lovely long range goal to help Itagüí grab the three points, to clinch the commiseration prize of second place.
The goal coming eleven minutes from time silenced the Estadio Manuel Murillo Toro, and although Tolima had gave their all in the competition, it was not enough to reach the dream final.
NACIONAL 2-1 DEPORTIVO PASTO
Scenes of jubilation in Medellin last night when Nacional defeated Pasto 2-1 to top Group B and claim their place in the Apertura final to face Santa Fe for the championship.
Thanks to goals from Fernando Uribe and Francisco Nájera, Nacional have chance at the Apertura championship. El Verde finished top of Group B and will face Santa Fe on Sunday 14th July in the first leg of the two-part final.
The party atmosphere after the final whistle demonstrated what it meant for Juan Carlos Osorio’s men to compete for the silverware.
Osorio had chose Uribe in the starting eleven ahead of Juan Pablo Angel and Jefferson Duque and the big striker was a threat aerially throughout, and repaid the coach’s faith in him within the first five minutes. The home side, urged on by the approximately 25,000 screaming fans, controlled the game from the off and in an unfamiliar attacking right-wing role, Elkin Calle found himself latching onto a ball in the area and looped a ball towards the penalty spot. Leaping forcefully, Uribe powered a header past goalkeeper Lucero Álvarez to send the Medellin crowd into raptures.
It turned into a high-paced frenetic contest with Nacional looking hungry for goals and wanted to finish off the match as soon as possible.
Calle and Juan David Valencia were linking up well causing trouble for the Pasto defence while Macnelly Torres controlled the middle. The chances were coming thick and fast but the hosts were unable to add to their goal. Against the run of play, Pasto grabbed an unexpected equaliser just before the break.
The unmarked Humberto Marquínez was the scorer, smashing home a counter attack move with a great right-footed finish, leaving goalkeeper Luis Martínez flat footed. Nacional should have had the game in the bag, and they knew this, and the goal lit a fire under them for the teams return for the second half, within a minute of the restart they regained the lead.
After Juan David Valencia had intercepted the ball midway through Pasto’s half, he failed to control it and the ball fell to central defender Nájera inside the box who hit a first-time shot into Álvarez’s goal. Only his second goal of the campaign and a great shot for a defender.
Pasto pressed for the remainder of the game, but Nacional kept composed and saw the game out to reach the Apertura final.
Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.