Far from what many expected, the Cajamarca team went out to find the game, they did not give up and always looked at Renato Solis’ goal. Although Rimense dominance was clear, an error at the start of Martín Távara triggered UTC’s goal at the start of the second half. Carlos Diez stole the ball, made space inside the area and with his shot, which ended up deflecting off Rafael Lutiger, Nacional was silenced. The clock began to run against us, Tiago Nunes moved the scoreboard and the equalizer came from the bench, with a header from Alejandro Hohberg. Until the end the result could have changed with a shot from Erick Canales that blocked the light blue goalkeeper. A point that is little due to the context.
Keys to the match
Lack of forcefulness
The statistics will show that Cristal had eight shots on goal, but only scored one goal, an effectiveness well below what Nunes’ team usually shows. The Rimenses paid dearly for their lack of forcefulness with only one point. Brenner Marlos had two opportunities to open the scoring, but he was not fine; and Patrick Zubczuck very attentive.
But the Brazilian was not the only one to fail in front of goal. Washington Corozo and Adrián Ugarriza also missed clear chances. The same as Irven Ávila, who had the chance to score the final 2-1, but the UTC goalkeeper was outstanding.
It was missed
There is no doubt that Ignacio is the best defender in the Peruvian tournament, he shows it every time Cristal plays, and it is more than clear when he is not there. Although Rafael Lutiger had the responsibility of filling in due to his suspension, the national center does not have the same characteristics as ‘Nacho’. After 1-0 against, the Rimense defense began to have doubts, passes began to fail and the absence of the Brazilian was strange.
Lutiger did not enter the divisions as Ignacio usually does and he did not put pressure on the Cajamarca forwards as the Brazilian center back could have done. It was not ‘Rafa’s’ best game, so much so that when Tiago Nunes had to go all out, he was one of those ‘sacrificed’ in the change of scheme.
He is not at his best
Many expected that with the call to the Peruvian National Team and subsequent debut, Joao Grimaldo’s level would rise much higher due to the motivation represented by being called up to a senior level. However, the performance of ‘Picante’ has not been the best in recent times. The young winger has suffered a natural drop in level in this final stretch of the tournament.
He had already shown these symptoms in the Mansiche and against UTC he could not shine as he usually does. He had a couple of plays where he showed his imbalance, but he didn’t dare to face it. In front of the goal he was not fine either and missed a clear header when the game was 1-0 in favor of ‘Gavilán del Norte’.
‘Enano’ and Solís appeared
With 10 minutes left, Tiago Nunes went all out and brought in Ugarriza, Ávila and Hohberg, the latter giving him the tying goal with a header. A bit important for the ‘Dwarf’, since he had not been considered by the coach and had not scored since the beginning of July.
Of course, with all the changes, Cristal went on the attack in search of victory, but in stoppage time they were left empty-handed. In an attacking play by UTC, Erick Canales received a ball with space inside the area, he connected first, but Renato Solis appeared to prevent him from falling and what could have been a tough defeat.
They depend on themselves
Cristal dropped two points with two dates remaining in the Clausura, which makes Melgar now the new leader, with one more game than the Rimenses. The celestials are playing two finals in Cusco and Lima, and they depend on themselves to win the tournament and ensure their presence in the final. The ‘Domino’ still needs to rest for a day and that could be key for Nunes’ team to regain the top, winning everything, it will not have to do with what happens with Alianza Lima or Universitario de Deportes.