There are draws that taste like defeat. Ties that hurt the head and the heart and the soul. Ties that should have been a victory. Ties that are not celebrated like other ties that do. Colombia he had the triumph in La Paz packed in his return luggage. He worked it, he fought it, he deserved it. But it took just one blink for the triumph at height to hit the ground, and hard. The 1-1 is a drink that is savored, but that burns in the throat.
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Roger Martinez he was on his way to being the great hero of the match. No Falcao, no Borja or Borré, no; Roger, the one who plays in Mexico and dominates the height. The striker, chosen as a secret weapon by Rueda, played with yellow hair so that he would not be confused in Colombia and so that he would not be recognized in Bolivia.
When he launched his ravenous attack, he was not short of breath. The legs responded to him like two masts that no one could break, as if they had not spent 69 minutes of fighting at the height. His body was agile, it was windy. He passed by among his rivals, ruffled them in the vertigo of his career, advanced as the owner of the height, with the ball tied to his right guayo, and then unloaded his bomb to explode inside the Bolivian goal. It was 0-1, the award for collective effort. But the great goal was not enough. It was not enough to win in La Paz, as was needed.
It was an incomplete victory. A victory that did not come to be. That did not end. It was a treasure that slipped from his grasp by a lethal oversight, a defensive blink. Was when Fernando Saucedo he found himself with so much freedom outside the area as to take out that missile that David Ospina did not dare to even look at, and with that shot it was like the Bolivian put a stud from side to side to the perfect script that Reinaldo had, when they were already 83 minutes.
The Colombian team was heartbroken and disconnected, and no wonder. There was very little time and very little oxygen left to attempt a second blow, another feat of height. And what came in Falcao to see what it could scratch. The tie hurt, and more when you look back and review the play that should have been a goal and was not, that of the ‘Riflecito’ Andrade, the Atlético Nacional player, the one who came from the ‘morphocycle’ and that he had on his feet the play of the consecration and sent the ball outside, slightly outside, as if the monster of the height had clouded it in what was the most important moment of the game.
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But, in general, the tie hurts because Colombia did not suffer. The altitude did not drown the team, who just in case raised a solid wall in the middle so that not even the wind could pass through there. Thus he survived the first 15 minutes that, it was known, were going to be of local vertigo. And he endured the first half hour, and the first half and part of the second.
The team, however, was not screwed in their field. He enjoyed the three musketeers: Díaz, Quintero and Cuadrado, to see which of them rubbed the lamp. Díaz was the most imprecise, because he was overcome by the instinct of wanting to go and waste energy in a square where every drop of oxygen is worth gold. Quintero and Cuadrado were more applied, managing the times in a field where time seems not to run.
Bolivia launched its quick shots, wanting to destroy the Colombian lungs as quickly as possible, at the point of short and long balls that did little damage. Although in one of those projectiles to the area, Dávinson Sánchez as he saw the double ball and headed the wrong one; Thank goodness Martins, the fierce Bolivian forward lurking behind him, didn’t see the real ball either. There were two other scares, when the Bolivian Saavedra tried to surprise Ospina with a missile, and another when Sánchez saw the court upside down and kicked for his own goal. Uff!
Colombia gave its best battle in La Paz, had the victory ready in the return luggage, but it left with the bitterness of a tie of those who do not like, of those that do not know, of those that little are celebrated.
Editor of EL TIEMPO
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