The Colombian Cup returns to the field of play to define the teams that will qualify for the semifinals and will continue to live on the road to the final, which not only delivers an official title but also a place in the qualifying phase of the Libertadores Cup. One of the squads that is on the edge of the abyss in the tournament and that needs to prove its worth, is that of the current champion of Colombian Professional Soccer, National Athletic.
On July 28, the Purslane visited the Roberto Meléndez Metropolitan Stadium to face the Junior from Barranquilla for the first leg of the quarterfinals. In the contest, the sharks they respected their home and with goals from Carmelo Valencia, Edwuin Cetré and Nilson Castrillón, they thrashed the Paisas 3-0, leaving them with a long way to go to overcome the series.
In the press conference prior to the second leg, the starting goalkeeper of the mountain green, Kevin Wed, gave his opinion on what he hopes the fight against Junior will be. He stated that having the support of the fans filling the Atanasio Girardot stadium will be essential to overcome the global score:
“Thursday will be a great night for us. Being accompanied by the fans will be essential to find the comeback”.
In the same way, he confirmed that the almost 11 days of rest they had to prepare for the match served to cover even the smallest tactical detail and thus be able to stand up to those from The Sandy:
“There are 90 minutes left, we trust our work. We had a long week to prepare for this match. Junior is a great rival, but we are going with everything”.
The last game played by Atlético Nacional was on Saturday, August 6, against Alianza Petrolera, while Junior just finished playing three days ago, so the paisas have the high card physically speaking.
Finally, he stated that although they are suffering in the defensive back, his job is to support his teammates to keep the fence undefeated and he wants this to happen against Junior:
“The moment we’ve had at the back hasn’t been the best, my job is to support them and help them not to score a goal”.
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The technical director of the Antioquia team, Hernan Dario Herrera, He also gave his evaluation of what he has prepared with the coaching staff to achieve the historic victory against those led by Juan Cruz Real. In the first place, just as Mier mentioned, he confirmed that the time they had to prepare for the match was important and that their only objective is to come back:
“The structure of Nacional changes, we need to win and pass the series. We had the opportunity to work with a long week. We hope to come back.”
Finally, he closed with a few words of praise for his rival, acknowledging the good game that the Shark, so it is necessary to respect it:
“Junior is very strong, you have to respect him, I saw his last game and they played it in the best way”.
Everything will be defined on August 18 at the Atanasio Girardot at 8:00 pm Colombian time.