Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Paulinho, with a double, revives Mineiro in the Libertadores

Vitor Bueno of Athletico Paranaense (left) and Rodrigo Battaglia of Atletico Mineiro vie for the ball during their Copa Libertadores match on May 23, 2023 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Atlético Mineiro overcame their poor start to form in the 2023 Copa Libertadores on Tuesday by beating Athletico Paranaense 2-1 at home, and are fully involved in a battle for one of the two spots in Group G through to the round of 16.

The Red and Black, the zone leaders, with seven points from four games, surpassed Alex Santana’s (51) score at the Mineirão de Belo Horizonte World Cup stadium.

But Albinegros, faithful to his offensive and possession game script, turned it around with a brace from Paulinho (68, 87), the tournament’s only scorer with seven goals.

The victory of ‘Gallo’ strengthens the home run, second, with six points, awaiting Alianza Lima (third, with four) and Libertad (bottom, with three) this Tuesday in Lima, Closer to the fourth is the day of the Group G match.

Despite the loss and the loss of their undefeated record, Furcao could qualify by hosting the Paraguayans on 6 June. On the same day, after losing their first two games, ‘Gallo’ visits the Peruvians with the aim of strengthening their resurgence.

– Solidarity with Vinicius Jr. –

The Brazilian duel gave an account of the needs of each side, and also expressed solidarity with Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, the victim of fresh racist acts at the weekend.

Eleven, as a whole, displayed a black stripe at the edge of the lawn with the message: “Let’s overcome racism! Power, Vinnie Jr.”

Mineiro insisted on adding three, dominating play and possession (73%) in the first half, faithful to the style that has allowed Argentine coach Eduardo Caudet.

As on other occasions, his efforts threatened to bear no fruit: he barely provoked a dangerous substitute into the right-hand shot from Paulinho (16) inside the area, which required the alertness of Bento.

In Mineirão, whose grass is still far from its finest, there were more willpower and friction than realistic chances to rebalance the balance.

Paranaense, with the calmness that leadership gives, played the same game that allowed it to reach second place in the Libertadores-2022: holding in defense and hitting on the counterattack.

– Hero –

Although the Albinegros were very close to taking the lead at the start of the second half (50), with Huron’s left-footed shot grazing Bento then hitting his right post, the Red and Black quickly brought them down.

Christian was headed in by Uruguayan midfielder Agustín Canobio, who shot with his right foot, demanding a response from Everson. Despite his remarkable stretch, the goalie missed a rebound that was used by Santana in fits and starts.

‘Gallo’ seemed to be skating in his lack of creativity until about twenty minutes had gone. Hence, he was rewarded for his indomitable will to go for sports, even against the odds.

Paulinho, their hero so far in the cup, went ahead of Colombian Dorlan Pabon (6) in the scorer table, with two goals that showed his versatility.

In the first, he touched down for Igor Gomes, he passed it to Hulk so he could pivot inside the 18-yard line and the stocky striker dropped the ball to kick with a right to infringe on Bento.

And in the second, with a header after a free kick taken by Igor Gomes, he consolidated the resurgence of the 2013 Libertadores champions.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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