Santa Fe could not translate on the scoreboard the superiority he had on the field 78 minutes, in the first match of the semifinals in the League against Capital. In the end, he ended in a draw on the goal in Tejo and will have to decide the placement next weekend in El Campin.
Santa Fe had the opportunity not only to finish the first match in the semifinals with an advantage, but also with a wide goal difference. That stopped goalkeeper Diego Novoa, key to keeping Equidad alive for the League final.
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The Reds took the lead very early: the clock was still ticking for three minutes when Fabian Sambueza’s shot found Jorge Luis Ramos’ head, ready to lower the ball and leave Velon Velasquez in front of Diego Novoa’s goal to define.
The “10” from Santa Fe did not score goals in the whole phase, all against everyone, and even at some point ended up on the bench, after DT Harold Rivera changed his position. He has now become a key player in the “cardinal” scheme in the final, with two goals against Deportivo Pasto in the quarter-final rematch and another in the semi-final.
Equidad, for sure, had to change the scenario with 0-1 against. It took a lot of work to reach the goal of Leandro Castellanos and, instead, he could increase the advantage.
Novoa, who is going through a great moment, avoided him, shot from a medium distance, as in a shot from a distance from Sambueza, and also responded hand in hand in the field, as if to say the present and think about the future as an option to play for the National team, which Carlos Queiroz has already called a microcycle.
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The history of Colombian football says that nothing is easy for Santa Fe. And when he needed to get a bigger advantage, a game happened to make the fans bite their nails and suffer, VAR with the help of: Sambueza went to fight for the ball in a reef and ended up trampling on Johnon Addison Garcia.
Of his predecessors, he was convicted. Judge Bismarck Santiago also confirmed this after looking at the screen and various camera footage in Techo. Red card in the 72nd minute and hold on.
Video arbitration could also have left Equidad with 10. But referee Santiago considered the elbow from Ano Castro to Velazquez to be a random game and left him on the pitch.
Capital did not get the most out of man. Until the 89th minute, when Pablo Sabag used a jump from Castellanos after a shot by Matthias Mier. The game lasted three minutes while VAR reviewed the position of the Uruguayan when he shot. It turned out to be legal and so, Alexis Garcia’s team managed to equalize.
Santa Fe, the best place in the League, will have the option to decide its passage to a new final in El Campin. It may have deserved more than 1-1, but in this case, football is not about merit, but about goals, and Novoa avoided them.
Jose Orlando Asensio
Sports Deputy Editor