Real Cartagena lead the Colombian Liga Postobon following a 4-2 win over regional rivals Junior on the tournament’s opening day.
In the first match of the year, a coastal clash between Cartagena and Barranquilla based Junior, the home side needed just ten minutes for Edwin Aguilar to net the opening goal.
Another 15 minutes later, the Panama-born striker added a second to hand Cartagena a more comfortable advantage.
The lead was cut in half by Luis Paez in the 32nd minute but Jose Najera restored the two-goal gap three minutes after the hour.
Junior never gave up and again pulled one back in the 76th minute when Paez converted a penalty kick, but Edison Palomino set the score to 4-2 seven minutes later.
Both teams finished the game a man down. Junior’s Jhon Valencia was sent off on the hour mark and Cartagena’s Rafael Perez followed with a second booking in the 73rd minute.
Defending vice-champions Deportes Tolima hosted Independiente Santa Fe in a repeat of one of last year’s semi final ties.
In a mostly uneventful game, neither side demonstrated an ability to break through the opposing defense. In fact, a penalty was required to finally break the deadlock in the final minute of regular time, as Wilder Medina made no mistake from the spot.
In the final match of the day, holders Once Caldas visited Boyaca Chico in Tunja and scored the opening goal through Felix Micolta in the seventh minute.
But the home side fought back and got the equaliser in the 25th minute with Diego Chica sending the ball past Caldas’ goalkeeper, 1-1.
Sunday’s fixtures include the debut for newly promoted Itagüi Ditaires against Independiente Medellin, as well as Deportivo Cali’s home clash with Cucuta Deportivo.