Santa Fe he could not translate on the scoreboard the dominance he had on the court for 78 minutes, in the first leg of the League semi-final against Equity. In the end, he finished drawing an equalizer to a goal at Techo and will have to sort out the distribution next weekend at El Campín.
Santa Fe had the option not only to end the first leg of the semifinal with an advantage, but with a wide goal difference. This was stopped by goalkeeper Diego Novoa, who is key to keeping Equidad alive before the League final.
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The Reds took the lead early on: the clock had yet to tick three minutes when a shot from Fabián Sambueza found Jorge Luis Ramos’ head, ready to lower the ball and leave Jhon Velásquez ahead of Diego Novoa’s goal to define .
The ’10’ from Santa Fe did not score goals in the entire period against everyone and even at some point he finished in the substitute bench, after DT Hárold Rivera changed his position. Now he became a key player for the cardinal scheme in the finals, with two goals against Deportivo Pasto in the second leg of the final eight and another in the semi-finals.
Equidad, by chance, had to change the script with 0-1 against. It took a lot of work for him to reach Leandro Castellanos’ goal and, instead, he could have extended the advantage.
Novoa, who is going through a great moment, avoided it, taking shots from a medium distance, as in a distance shot from Sambueza, and also responding hand to hand in the area, as if to say present and think of the future as an option to play in the National Team, which Carlos Queiroz already called a microcycle.
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Colombian football history says nothing is easy for Santa Fe. And when he had to take advantage, a drama came to get fans biting their nails and suffering, VAR through: Sambueza went for a ball in the scratch and finished stepping on John Édison García.
By his predecessors, he was sentenced. And Judge Bismarks Santiago confirmed that after looking at the screen and various shots of the cameras in Techo. Red card at minute 72, holding it on.
The video arbitration could also have left Equidad with 10. But judge Santiago thought an elbow from Joan Castro to Velásquez was a lucky play and left it on the playing field.
Equity had not gotten the best of the man. Until the 89th minute, when Pablo Sabbag took advantage of a rebound from Castellanos after a shot by Matías Mier. The match lasted three minutes while the VAR reviewed the Uruguayan’s position when it kicked. It was legal and so Alexis García’s team got the tie.
Santa Fe, the best venue in the League, will have the option of resolving its journey to a new final in El Campín. He may deserve more than 1-1, but in this case, football is not about virtues, it’s about goals, and Novoa avoided them.
Jose Orlando Ascencio
Deputy Sports Editor