Santa Fe vs Olimpia
El Campín, Bogotá
Semi Final 2nd Leg; Olimpia lead 2-0 on aggregate
09/07/2013; 20:50 (01:50 BST)
TV: Fox Sports (Latin America); ESPN (UK)
Here in Asunción you can feel it in the street, taste it in the air even there is a yearning for another Copa Libertadores final. Paraguayans aren’t necessarily very vocal but the number of Olimpia shirts on sale at the side of the road, the sharp increase in black and white flags on cars, the prevalence of “1979, 1990 and 2002” overheard in conversation all point to this sense of expecation. El Decano fans can feel the final coming they are already picturing Ever Almeida with his hands on a third Libertadores trophy with the club. But before we get too carried away, let’s remember that El Campín situated at 2560 metres above sea level is not the easiest place to visit. Olimpia have only ever won once in Colombia and they’ve never scored in this stadium, drawing their first ever Copa Libertadores game here vs Millonarios (1960) and losing 2-0 in the 1989 semi-final against Atletico Nacional.
We saw in the previous game that Almeida is so adaptable and seemed to get the better of Wilson Gutierrez responding with the Alejandro Silva substitution following the double sending off that ended up being decisive. The Uruguayan wing back was involved in both goals and his pace and positivity unnerved the Colombians. Undoubtedly they will look for a more defensive approach in the second leg but Silva could be used in a more attacking role allowing for the more conservative Mazacotte to retain his place in the starting XI. One of the key figures could be another Silva, Martin the goalkeeper was incredible against Fluminense in the previous away game in this tournament and if he keeps a cleansheet or only concedes one then Olimpia are definitely through.
There is no Bedoya due to his supsension but the front three of Cuero, Pérez and Wilder Medina will remain intact from the first leg. Jefferson Cuero certainly has the pace to trouble all of Olimipa’s three central defenders should he catch them one-on-one – the defensive role of the wing backs and Eduardo Aranda will be crucial once again. Assuming they don’t overstretch themselves they should be able to contain Santa Fe who have only managed more than 2 goals on one occassion in this year’s tournament.
Olimpia XI (probable): Martín Silva; Julio Manzur, Herminio Miranda, Salustiano Candia; Ricardo Mazacotte, Nelson Benítez; Wilson Pittoni, Eduardo Aranda, Matías Giménez; Alejandro Silva, Fredy Bareiro
Santa Fe XI (probable): Camilo Vargas; Juan Roa, Carlos Valdés, Francisco Meza, Marino García; Daniel Torres, John Valencia, Yulian Anchico, Jefferson Cuero, Omar Pérez , Wilder Medina
Selected Odds: Santa Fe win 1.56, Draw 4.5, Olimpia win 7.2, 1-0 win 6.4, Under 2.5 goals 1.87
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals for me, firstly there is Olimpia’s record in Colombia (matches there average 1.2 goals per game) and then there is Santa Fe’s home record in this year’s tournament (every single game has gone under 2.5 goals)
Stats and Trivia
Olimpia in Bogotá (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 2 W 0 D 1 L 1 GF 0 GA 2
Olimpia vs Colombian Opposition (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 23 W 11 D 7 L 5 GF 31 GA 18
Olimpia in Colombia (All Continental Competitions)
Pld 9 W 1 D 5 L 3 GF 4 GA 7