Atlético Junior and Independiente Medellín have won their matches on
the opening day of the semi final stage in the Colombian Copa Mustang
II, and take the lead in their respective groups.
A great atmosphere at Barranquilla’s Estadio Metropolitano set the tone for what would turn out to be a successful night for home side Junior.
Martín Arzuaga pushed the ball past Cali keeper Ramírez in the 46th minute and Diaz’ diagonal shot from outside the penalty area doubled the lead just after the hour.
Cali only began to do something back in the final minutes of the game, when it was obviously much too late.
Junior take the lead in Group B, in which América de Cali and Deportivo Pereira face off at 3:30pm local time on Sunday. América are favorites to win the game, although Pereira won 2-1 in their previous meeting last month.
Regular season winners Deportes Tolima had their title aspirations dented by a 2-1 defeat at Independiente Medellín.
Jackson Martínez struck the hosts to a 1-0 lead on 54 minutes but Daniel Marangoni levelled from the penalty spot in the 65th.
The win would go to Medellín though. Tolima goalkeeper Bréiner Castillo showed his value with two great saves in less than five seconds but the attack ended with substitute midfielder Gustavo Bolivar handling the ball near the goal.
Jackson Martínez did well to convert the following penalty. Tolima captain Gerardo Vallejo was sent off for protesting and needed to be escorted off the pitch by special police units.
Sunday sees the battle of the ‘greens’ in Group A, with La Equidad hosting Atlético Nacional for a repeat of last year’s Copa Mustang II final.
La Equidad were the better side in their last two meetings with Nacional, winning both clashes 1-0.