In focus: Cortulua – Real Cartagena
Cortulua joined the Colombian top flight this year, and have been doing surprisingly well so far. The side from Valle are currently in eighth place and managed to beat sides such as Santa Fe and America de Cali. Last week, they did lose 1-2 to Medellin.
Real Cartagena earned promotion to the first division a year ago and are the best team so far this season. After a draw at Santa Fe two weeks ago, the coastal team went on to beat America 1-0.
Both teams featured in the Copa Colombia in midweek. Cortulua beat Pacifico 2-1 and Real Cartagena won 1-2 at Atletico de la Sabana. It has to be said however, that most teams fields their B-sides in early Copa Colombia games.
These two teams last met in 2008, with a 1-1 draw as result in the Primera B. Two months earlier, Cortulua beat Cartagena 3-1.
It could well be a close match at Tulua’s Doce de Octubre stadium, and a draw seems no unlikely result.
In Saturday’s remaining two games, Independiente Medellin host Quindio while local rivals Nacional visit Cucuta Deportivo.
Independiente won both of their last two games and are well on course to defend their title, although the season is young. Although the top players perform well, the reserves have not been quite as impressive with a 3-0 defeat to Itagui Ditaires in the Copa Colombia on Wednesday. This time around, DIM face a Quindio side that had a disastrous season start with only one point earned from their first five games.
Fourth-placed Nacional face a potentially tough task at Cucuta, although the men in green won all of their last three league games and went on to crush Once Caldas‘ B-side 5-0 in the Copa. Cucuta lost their last game, 2-0 to Millionarios last week
The only top four team to play on Sunday is La Equidad, who travel to face Atletico Huila in Neiva. The Bogota outfit won both of their last two games in the lead, but did lose 2-0 to Santa Fe in the Cup on Wednesday. Huila, runners-up in the 2009 closing tournament, are currently in tenth place and desperately need a win to close in on the top.
Another high profile clash on Sunday is the match between Junior and Deportivo Cali in Barranquilla. Junior are favorites to win after having won their last two home games, while Cali lost their last two games away from home.
Cortulua – Cartagena
Cucuta – Nacional
Medellin – Quindio
Junior – Cali
Chico – Tolima
Huila – La Equidad
America – Envigado
Santa Fe – Pereira
Once Caldas – Millionarios