Authority collides with rebellion in the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals. With its titles and history, Palmeiras wants to keep the new Colombian club Deportivo Pereira in order, defying the rules imposed by the South American giants in the Copa Libertadores de America.
On the one hand, Verdeao (Green) Palmeiras, champions twice in the last four years, will have under their baton what should be one more step in their goal of being the best in the continent. Grande Matakana, on the other hand, is admirably progressing in his first historic participation in the Libertadores without bowing to any rival.
At home at the Hernán Ramírez Villegas Stadium, he will look to win with a good performance, as he leaves clubs like Colo Colo from Chile and Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle on the road. Also in the group stage, they beat Boca Juniors at home and beat them at La Pamponera, where they led 0-1 until the 89th minute before finally losing 2-1 at the 90 + 9 minute mark.
After becoming the big surprise of the continental tournament, Perera has everything to win. For the quarter-final clash, a stage no Colombian side has reached since 2016, when Atlético Nacional were champions, tactician Alejandro Restrepo will have three reinforcements: Left-back Cristian Blanco, midfielder Alejandro Piedrahita and Uruguayan striker Adrien Balboa scored a brace from Sporting’s 3-0 domestic league win over Jaguares last Saturday.
These names include goalkeeper Aldair Quintana, veteran central defender Carlos Ramirez, midfielder Johnny Vazquez or winger Jimmer Fourie, who have played a key role in the Gabi team’s continental campaign.
“We are already looking at Palmeiras with all the reports from our analysts (…) It’s a great team, very well prepared, so we should have all these details,” Restrepo told sports channel Win Sports.
And he added: “We are very clear with all footballers that every step is completely different and every competitor, especially every game, must be well prepared.”
To counter Palmeiras’ power, Restrepo relies on work and preparation. “The challenge will be knowing how to counter that face where they are a vertical team, very fast, controlling their wingmen,” the strategist added.
Palmeiras, ‘with champion attitude’
Palmeiras is entering a critical phase for its ambitions. In the round of 16 they knocked out Atlético Mineiro in a match between titans and in the local league they kicked out leaders Potafogo. From now on, the team will face both matches with the “attitude of a champion”, its coach Abel Ferreira told a press conference before leaving for Colombia.
“We know what we want, we know the way we work,” said the Portuguese coach, before praising Pereira: “We’re going to face a very competitive, very organized opponent. If they’re in this round, it’s because they have quality. I’m our Respecting the opponents a lot, we have to do our best and always respect them: we know we will have difficulties,” Ferreira admitted.
With AFP and Efe
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