The ‘U’ recovered the path of victory and at an important moment, a few days after the visit this Tuesday to Goiás in Brazil for the Copa Sudamericana, where if they win they could secure their ticket to the round of 16. The Opening, with three dates to go, is still possible, of course, depending on other setbacks by Alianza Lima. UTC (visit), Cusco FC (local) and Sport Huancayo (visit) remain. Illusion is the last thing to be lost…
Valera and Herrera, a tandem that works
Alex Valera and Emanuel Herrera once again demonstrated that they work together. Two forwards in the area, where they have to be, is always a latent scoring option in any team. In particular, in this ‘U’ by Fossati that prioritizes the incessant attack on the wings and, of course, the two ‘killers’ are on the lookout for any chance. Alex scored a hat-trick (14′, 50′ and 66′), reached nine goals in League 1 and became the cream top scorer by himself. For him it was his revenge, because at 10 ′ his shot crashed into the goal post of Carlos Grados, a goal that was sung. In addition, the ’20’ not only scores, he also plays and collaborates with the brand. He was the great figure.
‘Ema’, for her part, collaborated first in her colleague’s goal. And then he also appeared with a great goal (25 ‘). A lethal shot from outside the area, impossible for Grados. It was his fifth goal in the league, which makes him the team’s second striker along with Luis Urruti. And besides, he scored after three dates, something that fills him with confidence again. Many even say that he is beginning to resemble the Herrera of 2018, the one who scored 40 goals with Cristal and signed a record that is difficult to beat: he is the current historical scorer in Peruvian soccer in one campaign.
Intensity is definitely a trademark of the ‘U’. Fossati’s men squeezed Vallejo from the first minute as he usually does in all his matches at the Monumental and he took the lead before 15 minutes. There is always a lot of pressure to prevent the opponent from playing and that happens – it must be said – when there is an excellent physical trainer at home, in this case Professor Sebastián Avellino.
This is a factor that was perhaps not very noticeable in the era of Carlos Compagnucci and that the team has clearly improved since the arrival of ‘Flaco’. Players win duels, cut when it’s time to cut, and every time they win the ball back they rush to attack. In short, they all run in Universitario. For example, Valera is capable of going down to cover Polo’s position, and vice versa.
It is almost impossible for a marker in Peruvian soccer to sustain the pace imposed by Andy Polo on the right wing. It looks like a ‘locomotive’, each ride is a sensation of danger and especially in the Monumental, where it is almost unstoppable. He wins one on one and collaborates in the round trip. Polo, today, is in a superlative moment and the ‘U’ takes advantage of that. He won three of five games and completed three of five crosses. He was the best, behind Valera.
And to close his great participation. He provided an assist for Valera’s second goal. It is clear that he deservedly earned the captain’s belt in this University and, most importantly, he is once again at an indisputable level of the Peruvian National Team.
The ball to ’10’
Some experts commented that when Horacio Calcaterra began to be a starter it would be impossible to get him out of the ‘eleven’. And so it happened. ‘Calca’, with the ’10 ′ on his back, rightfully earned his place. Beyond the cost of having Piero Quispe on the bench, who did nothing wrong to leave the team. He is clearly the one who pulls the strings and this is reflected in the statistics: he made 32 of 35 passes (88% effectiveness) and was the cream player who passed the ball the most.
Calcaterra, today, is undisputed in Fossati’s midfield trident, along with Rodrigo Ureña and Martín Pérez Guedes. The fact that “Flaco” took him out after 62 minutes is evidence that he didn’t want to give him more trouble and that he needs it “ok” this Tuesday in Brazil.
A different, but solid defense
What worried the most in the run-up to the match against Vallejo was not having three key players in defense: Aldo Corzo, Williams Riveros and Nelson Cabanillas, all due to suspension. Their places were taken by Piero Guzmán, Marco Saravia and José Bolívar. In reality, beyond the fact that those absent are important and bastions of the good moment of Fossati’s team, their absences were not noticed. The ‘U’ was quite solid in defense and, proof of this, it is the zero in José Carvallo’s goal.
The ‘U’ barely reached the goal three times and, beyond the fact that it was the first time together of those mentioned –along with Andy Polo and Matías Di Benedetto– in the typical line of five of Fossati, they behaved as if they had several parties above. The conclusion is unanimous: all the players on the cream squad are ready for the challenge, when it’s time to be there.
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