0-2: Barcelona surprises Junior and leaves him on the verge of KO

He Barcelona surprised this Wednesday Junior in Barranquilla and defeated it 0-2 on the fifth day of Group A of the Cup
Liberators, a result that leaves the Colombian club on the brink of elimination and waiting for a miracle to reach the round of 16.

The goals of the Ecuadorian club were the work of side Byron Castillo and Uruguayan striker Jonathan Álvez, who in 2018 played for the rojiblanco club, and gave his team the victory against an opponent who, despite not having their best night, crashed three balls on the sticks of the Roberto Meléndez Metropolitan Stadium.

The hosts took control of the game from the first moment and had their first clear opportunity at minute eight when winger Fredy Hinestroza, in a free kick from the edge of the area, took a left-footed shot that crashed into the horizontal of the Argentine’s goal Javier Burrai.

As the minutes passed, the ‘Tiburon’ lost intensity in attack and players such as the Venezuelan Luis ‘Cariaco’ González and the wingers Hinestroza and Edwuin Cetré intervened with less clarity.

The ‘Colossus of America’ shook and began to explode the sides to try to hurt the team led by Luis Amaranto Perea.

When the first half seemed to end goalless, the visitors surprised Junior and in a counterattack, led by Álvez, the ball remained in the area for Castillo, who with a right hand beat Uruguayan goalkeeper Sebastián Viera and made it 0-1 at 44.

At the beginning of the second half, with Junior still recovering from the blow he received before the break, Álvez received a high pass from Cristian Colman and, before Viera’s exit and a weak mark from Germán Mera, sent the ball to the bottom of the net with a pumped header.

To try to come back, Perea sent scorer Miguel Borja and creative Sherman Cárdenas onto the field, who brought their team closer to Burrai’s goal.

However, Barcelona withdrew and under the leadership of centrals Darío Aimar and Williams Riveros prevented their rival from going deep, despite some approaches that the Argentine goalkeeper cleared without problems.

One of the clearest came from full-back Gabriel Fuentes at minute 78 when he received a filtered pass from midfielder Didier Delgado in the area and, in hand-to-hand, he took a shot that bounced across the horizontal.

The other came from Borja, at 87, after heading a center and sending the ball to the post again.

In the end, Junior could not even discount and was on the verge of elimination after falling to an opponent who had lost all four of their previous games.

To pass the phase, the Junior, who has a goal difference of -2 and six points, must beat the already classified Flamengo at the Maracaná and wait for a defeat by a thrashing of Independiente del Valle, who has +4 and nine points, the Barcelona.

0 – Junior: Sebastián Viera; Marlon Piedrahita, Germán Mera, Dany Rosero, Gabriel Fuentes; Freddy Hinestroza, Leonardo Pico (m.84, Larry Vásquez), Didier Moreno, Luis ‘Cariaco’ González (m.53, Miguel Borja), Edwuin Cetré (m.53, Sherman Cárdenas), and Carmelo Valencia (m.72, Michael Rangel).

Coach: Amaranto Perea

2 – Barcelona: Javier Burrai; Byron Castillo, Darío Aimar, Williams Riveros, Mario Pineida; Matías Oyola (m.77, Pedro Velasco), Nixon Molina (m.58, Gabriel Márquez), Sergio Quintero, Damián Díaz (m.76, Leandro Martínez); Jonathan Álvez (m.86, José Angulo) and Cristian Colman (m.86, Bruno Piñatares).

Coach: Fabián Bustos

Goals: 0-1, Byron Castillo (m. 44); 0-2, Jonathan Álvez (m. 46)

Referee: the Ecuadorian Alexis Herrera. He admonished coach Bustos and Riveros, Colman, Borja and Mera.

Incidents: match of the fifth day of Group A of the Copa Libertadores played at the Metropolitano stadium in Barranquilla.