With just two games left and the relegation spots decided, all eyes are now on the fight for the top eight play-off positions. Nacional and Santa Fe, in first and second place respectively, have already made it – but the rest have all to play for.
Two of the teams in the hunt are Envigado and Patriotas, who will face each other on Saturday. Then Medellin, just a point from the play-off spots, face high-flying Cali at home on Sunday, before Pasto look to secure their spot against a Nacional side that suffered only its second defeat of the season last week.
Saturday, November 2nd – 5:30pm
Envigado vs. Patriotas
Patriotas travel to Envigado for a chance to move up into the play-off positions. They are currently sitting in 9th place, with only goal difference keeping them outside of the top eight.
Just above them is Once Caldas, who will travel to Patriotas on the last day of the season in a play-off dogfight. They will probably win this weekend at home against already-relegated Quindio, meaning that Patriotas need to get something out of their game against Envigado to avoid the pressure of having to win on the last day of the season.
Unfortunately, Patriotas look unlikely to get anything out of an Envigado side that haven’t lost at home since mid-August, and have won two of their last four games, including an impressive 2-1 defeat of high-flyers Santa Fe.
In contrast, Patriotas have managed just 5 points from a possible 21 over the last 7 games, and haven’t won since mid-September. Last week, playing at home, they squandered the chance to move clear of rivals Medellin – currently one point behind them – after a goalless draw. If they are beaten on Saturday, then Envigado – currently 12th in the league but just 2 points from 7th place – will take their position, leaving Patriotas with a mountain to climb to reach the play-offs.
Sunday, November 3rd – 3:15pm
Medellin vs. Cali
Cali need just one point to secure their spot in the play-offs, and they head to Medellin in high spirits after last week’s 1-0 win against Equidad all but guaranteed their qualification. But they will have their work cut out against a Medellin team desperate to reach the play-off spots on their 100th anniversary.
Last season Medellin missed out, finishing in 10th place with 23 points. They are now in 10th place again, and with 21 points sit just a point behind seventh-placed Equidad. But they are not in form, winning just once in their last five games, against lowly Quindio. Hopefully the return of Medellin’s fans to the stadium after weeks of a violence-related ban will give the hosts the boost they need to finally grab victory.
Medellin will hope that Junior beat Equidad on Sunday. Victory for Junior would secure their spot in the play-offs, meaning that the pressure would be off for the visit of Medellin on the final day of the regular season. If Junior win and Medellin can get something from the game against Cali, then they may well be able to go to Junior and bag all three points, giving them a great shot at finishing in the play-off positions.
Pasto vs. Nacional
Nacional lost to Chico last week in just their second defeat of the season. Having sewn up the top spot in the league weeks ago, and with a Copa Sudamericana match against Brazil’s Sao Paolo mid-week, they decided to field a team of young reserves with an average age of just 22.
Pasto will hope Nacional decide to run out the young ones again and make their life easier – they only need two points to ensure their place in the play-offs. But Pasto are certainly making life hard for themselves. They went down 2-0 last week against Santa Fe to hand the Bogota team second place in the league and the automatic play-off position, and the week before they failed to overcome lowly Huila at home.